BC FORUM News - From The Advocate, Autumn, 2019
A plan for an aging Canada
A key election issue identified by BC FORUM members at this year’s annual general meeting is the need for a national seniors care strategy.
They adopted a resolution saying such a strategy must include dedicated federal funding and national standards for public long-term care, home care and palliative care.
“As more Canadians enter their senior years,” say the New Democrats, “we need to make better choices to be ready to meet their needs and ensure that everyone can age with dignity.”
The party’s platform includes numerous commitments to ensure that every senior has access to health care and social supports:
• A national seniors strategy to make seniors health care a priority, reduce isolation, and tackle seniors’ poverty.
• A funded national dementia strategy.
• An elder abuse prevention plan developed with seniors.
• Pharmacare for all to ensure no one needs to choose between medicine and other essentials.
• Improved tax credits that will provide thousands of dollars to low-income caregivers, many of whom have given up work to care for a loved one.
• More affordable, accessible housing choices for seniors as part of a commitment to create half a million affordable housing units over the next decade.
• Tackling seniors’ isolation by working with cities to make transit more affordable and convenient, creating more community recreation spaces, and supporting innovative housing solutions like intergenerational co-housing.
• Working with patients, caregivers and provincial and territorial governments to develop national care standards for home care and long-term care.
• Enforce the Canada Health Act against the threat of privatization and user fees.
New Democrats are calling for “a historic expansion” of the medically necessary services covered under Medicare – including dental care, eye care, hearing care and mental health.
“New Democrats believe that we need to work towards health care that covers us from head to toe,” says the party platform.
“The long-term path to providing public coverage for these services will require strong federal re-investment in our health system, with the knowledge that investing in preventative health services will ultimately save money and give Canadians the care they need to live healthy, full lives.”