National pharmacare a focus for Liberals, Canada's new health minister says
Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Patty Hajdu sworn in as health minister this week
Canada's new health minister says a national, universal pharmacare program will be a focus for the Liberal government over the upcoming term.
"It's certainly something I heard about as a member of Parliament over the last four years, as a minister," said Patty Hajdu, the Thunder Bay-Superior North MP who was sworn in as Canada's health minister this week. "But also in my previous role, working with people who are living in poverty and really were struggling to juggle the cost of medication, sometimes for a crisis situation, sometimes for an ongoing health issue."
"It's something that I think will be beneficial to all of us," Hajdu said from Ottawa on Thursday. "Healthier Canadians mean a more-prosperous Canada. The healthier we can keep Canadians, the better our economy does, as well. When people feel well and they have the supports they need, then they can actually reach their full potential."
But, Hajdu said, implementing a national pharmacare program is not a small thing.
"It certainly is something that we'll have to work closely with all parties in the house, but also with premiers and with the stakeholders to make sure that we can deliver on affordable medication for all Canadians," she said.
As for other government priorities, Hajdu said, they'll be determined collaboratively with the Liberal caucus, and the opposition.
The next session of Parliament begins on Dec. 4 with the Speech from the Throne.