This letter was sent to the Castlegar News for publication
Hon. Rona Ambrose,
Minister of Health
My constituents are very concerned about the future of health care in our country. They are asking the federal government to commit to a renewed Health Accord in 2014 and to work with the provinces and territories on health care innovation so Canadians can continue to receive the care they need.
Health care is a priority for Canadians. It is simply not acceptable that the existing Health Accord is being allowed to expire. Instead of negotiating a new agreement, the government is taking steps to undermine our public healthcare system by unilaterally cutting $36 billion in federal health funding to the provinces.
Downloading health costs to the provinces will lead inevitably to disparity in care standards from province to province, including longer wait times, reduced services and limited access to long-term care.
All Canadians, wherever they live, deserve equal access to affordable medications; primary care clinics with doctors, nurses and allied health professionals; and continuing care across their lifespan.
To ensure that Canadians receive the quality of health care they deserve, I respectfully urge you to work with the Premiers to develop a 2014 Health Accord and invest for the long-term in an improved universal health care system.
Alex Atamanenko, MP
BC Southern Interior