You Are Here: Home > About Arthritis > Arthritis in the News > Statement from our President and CEO on the Federal Budget, 2024

Statement from our President and CEO on the Federal Budget, 2024

In the federal budget released today, we were pleased to see the government’s commitment to research and national pharmacare. This focus is mission critical for people with arthritis who require multiple different approaches to new and emerging treatments and affordable drug coverage. 

Arthritis is the most common chronic disease in Canada, affecting 6 million people and likely more who are undiagnosed. It is the leading cause of workplace disability and costs our economy over $33 billion annually. Arthritis is a precursor to other chronic diseases and is more prevalent than diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke combined. We are pleased to see an investment of an additional $1.8 billion over 5 years to support research. While this allocation is crucial, targeted funding for arthritis research specifically is needed more than ever. 

The investment of $1.5 billion towards national pharmacare implementation will assist with patient access to treatments. To move this forward effectively, the government must engage with patients and stakeholders as an essential part of the strategy. 

As reducing surgical backlogs are a priority in the bilateral health funding agreements with provinces and territories, we need to think beyond funding. We encourage the federal government to collaborate with provincial and territorial governments to create a national strategy that focuses on reducing wait times by setting and tracking targets, optimizing resources, and leveraging innovative care models. To help reduce the number of surgeries needed, early intervention and improved access to care and treatment must also be addressed. 

We are following the measures announced related to supporting those with disabilities through credits, deductions and other supports to ensure they meet the needs of people with arthritis and all patients impacted. 

Back to News