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August 7, 2014 (Toronto, ON) – The Canadian Association of Community Health Centres (CACHC) has issued its annual federal budget recommendations to the Government of Canada.

Key policies and investments outlined by the association are intended to bolster Canada’s social and economic outlook by ensuring a healthy population, with access for all Canadian residents to innovative healthcare services that are planned and monitored for accessibility, equity, accountability and cost-effectiveness.

“Canada is a great country which can be made even better by guaranteeing all Canadians essential pre-conditions by which to achieve health,” stated CACHC’s Chairperson,  Jane Moloney. “This includes freedom from poverty, as well as access to adequate, affordable housing. It also means investing in healthcare services across Canada that are attuned to local needs; that are designed to prevent illness and build vibrant communities; and that provide Canadian residents with assurances regarding access, quality and accountability, regardless of where they live.”

The association is urging the federal government to accelerate progress in these areas through five high-priority actions:
  1. Design and adequately invest in a federal poverty-reduction plan. This plan should complement existing provincial and territorial initiatives.
  2. Develop and implement a pan-Canadian strategy focused on reducing homelessness and securing adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians.
  3. Negotiate with the provinces and territories a new Health Accord, with stable and adequate funding attached to a common set of national priorities and health system performance indicators that cover the full continuum of care. Included within this accord, there must also be federal commitment to strengthening the monitoring and enforcement of the Canada Health Act.
  4. Establish a federal Pharmacare program to improve access for Canadians to prescription drugs and to achieve significant cost savings.
  5. Establish a federal strategy and funding for Community Health Centres across Canada as a pillar of new investments in healthcare innovation.
“While we believe that the federal government has a responsibility to inject new resources into our health and social service systems, we also believe that we must do better with what we already spend. Reducing poverty, homelessness, precarious housing, and gaps in healthcare has the potential not only to help achieve overall cost savings, but to boost economic development in Canada. Improving health and healthcare is essential to Canada’s economic bottom-line.” 
Media and other inquiries:
Scott A. Wolfe
Executive Director – Canadian Association of Community Health Centres
Community Health and Wellbeing Week (Oct 5-11, 2014)
Copyright © 2014 Canadian Association of Community Health Centres, All rights reserved.

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