(OTTAWA) Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights joins with health care advocates and allies to express deep concern over Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s remarks today.
Despite the creation of an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare in Budget 2018, the opportunity to make prescription medications truly accessible may not be a priority for this government. The Minister’s statement suggests Canada’s approach to Pharmacare strategy may not be universal, but rather a patchwork of cost-coverage.
Alongside our health sector colleagues, Action Canada defines pharmacare as universal, accessible and single payer cost-coverage for prescription medications. International law guarantees all people the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, which includes the delivery of accessible, available, acceptable and quality sexual and reproductive health information and services.
Action Canada knows first-hand that access to medications is often unaffordable for those who need it most, especially those suffering from intersecting marginalization and discrimination. The ability to manage your own fertility, have healthy pregnancies, affirms your own gender, and prevent, treat or manage sexually transmitted infections should not be dependent on income, place of residence or immigration status.
People in Canada who require vaccines, medication or contraceptive devices should not need to rely on insurance or personal savings to afford the resources needed to maintain or realize the best possible sexual and reproductive health outcomes; yet, medicines, devices and supports to improve sexual and reproductive health are not universally covered.
We urge the Government of Canada to meet its international human rights obligations by ensuring the creation of a universally accessible, fully-funded pharmacare plan for all people in Canada.