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Federal Election 2019

The Issue

Canada’s general election will take place on Monday October 21, 2019. While health care is primarily considered to be a provincial issue, there are many ways in which the needs of Canadians living with arthritis can be helped through federal policies. 

The Arthritis Society is calling on all parties and candidates to support our recommendations that, if implemented, will help improve health outcomes and quality of life for people living with arthritis.

Our Challenge to the Parties

We have written to the party leaders and asked them to make the following commitments:

  • Ensure all Canadians have affordable access to the medicines they need
    Due to differences in coverage between provinces, and between public and private drug plans, Canadians do not all have the same level of access to the medications they need. 

    We need a national pharmacare program that ensures all Canadians have equitable access to a broad range of medically necessary treatments at an affordable price, wherever they live in Canada. And we need that program to raise rather than lower the standards of access, because what works for one patient may not work for another, so a range of choice is critical.

    Any effort to move forward on national pharmacare must be informed and advised by strong patient participation focused on addressing urgent patient needs.

    Read more about our position on National Pharmacare
  • Stop taxing medical cannabis and make it available through pharmacies

    Medical cannabis offers some arthritis patients an alternative for the management of pain and other symptoms. Unfortunately, the cost of using medical cannabis can put a financial strain on many patients, made worse by the application of sales and excise taxes. Medical cannabis should be exempt from taxation, just like all other prescription treatments under the Excise Tax Act.

    Medical cannabis should be distributed through pharmacies, like other prescription medications. This will create a clear distinction between medical cannabis and cannabis for other uses. It will also help to ensure that patients receive reliable education from trained health care professionals on safe and effective use and facilitate reimbursement by health insurance plans.

    Read more about our position on Medical Cannabis 

  • Help reduce joint replacement wait times by increasing the Canada Health Transfer

    Arthritis is the leading cause of joint replacement, including over 99% of knee replacements and over 80% of hip replacements. Many provinces struggle to provide timely access to joint replacement surgery due to increased demand and lack of resources. In many regions, wait times are actually getting worse, resulting in unnecessary pain and suffering for too many Canadians.

    By increasing the Canada Health Transfer to the level of health system demand growth – between 5 and 6 percent annually – the Federal government can help provinces meet the medically recommended 6-month target for knee and hip replacement surgeries.

    Read more about our position on Joint replacement wait times

We’ll share the party leaders responses here as we receive them.

Federal Election Toolkit

Download our Federal Election Toolkit (PDF) for easy ways you can to help raise awareness of our issues with the parties and local candidates.

Get Involved

If you’re interested in getting more involved in the Arthritis Society’s advocacy efforts, sign up to become an advocacy volunteer!