Government looks to widen contraceptive coverage for public servants
Union argued on CBC Radio this week for more contraceptive options for women
- Treasury Board President Scott Brison said non-oral contraceptives should be covered
- He said he's working with public sector unions to ensure non-oral contraceptives are covered
Treasury Board president Scott Brison has announced his department will begin to work out an agreement with public service unions to include all contraceptives under the Public Service Health Care Plan.
The presidents of the two biggest unions — the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) — were notified Wednesday night, according to a Treasury Board source.
The current health-care plan only covers oral contraceptives, so other birth control methods, such as the patch and intrauterine devices, have to be paid out of pocket.
The unions must come to a consensus with the department before a new contraceptive plan can be approved. If an agreement is reached quickly, the changes could be implemented as early as January.
Reached out to unions
The Treasury Board manages the health plan and is in charge of alterations or amendments to it.
On Thursday, Brison announced in the House of Commons that his department had reached out to public sector unions and will be working with them to ensure non-oral contraceptives are also covered under the Public Service Health Care Plan.
The announcement comes days after PSAC president Robyn Benson told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning she wanted to restart negotiations with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to modernize the union's health-care plan.
"It's 2017 now, so I don't think we should be forcing women to take birth control pills if it's not appropriate for them," she said Monday.
With files from Julie Ireton