Feb 29, 2024

By Jane Brown

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In Ottawa Thursday, the federal health minister is expected to table a bill that will begin the process for national pharmacare.

Mark Holland’s proposed legislation is expected to cover birth control drugs and insulin for anyone with a health card, while laying out principles that would underpin a potential federal pharmacare plan in the future.

Dr. Alisa Naiman is a regular panelist on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer and says there are people in this country who would benefit from a true federal pharmacare program.

“I have patients who aren’t covered by the government because they’re not over 65, or they’re not on Ontario Works, or they don’t have a private plan and they can’t afford medication and it often becomes a decision about what kind of medication can they be given they can afford and lots of time people cannot afford to take medication and they don’t take it,” Naiman explained.

The pharmacare bill is a key element of the minority Liberals’ political pact with the New Democrats.

Provincial health ministers in Alberta and Quebec have already said they want to opt out of the program and would rather put the money toward their existing drug programs.

Ontario’s Health Minister Sylvia Jones says she needs information from the feds before deciding whether to opt in or out.

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