Stuart Andrews (Green Party) Response

Attention: Jaymee Maaghop

Thank you for contacting me regarding Green Party of Alberta Policies. The Green Party of Alberta is committed to a publicly funded universal health care system. In this email I have included a link to our party policies.

Question 1: Strengthening a publicly-funded healthcare system

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Alberta spends more on healthcare than any of the other provinces and territories. This is projected to increase due to the aging population in the province. Concerns have been voiced on the sustainability of healthcare spending, and parties are responding with best approaches to ensuring Albertans receive affordable, accessible, timely and quality care.

  • If elected, what steps will your government take to strengthen the publicly-funded healthcare system in Alberta

“The Green Party of Alberta is strongly in favour of maintaining a publicly-funded, government-operated health care system.”

“The Green Party of Alberta supports a preventative approach to healthcare.”

The Green Party expects health care costs to continue to grow as our population ages. That means increased funding for our public care facilities as well expansion of current care capacity. Our platform does not include any specific promises for new facilities or expansion. However, we do not see how cutbacks to the healthcare system can be made.

I place in to high regard the need for far greater input from Albertans so that we may undertake necessary expansions in order to ensure timely care for all patients. 

Question 2: National pharmacare

Canada’s universal healthcare system does not include access to prescription medicines. The result is a provincial/territorial patchwork of public and private insurance plans that are costly, ineffective and do not guarantee access to prescribed drugs. The federal government has set up an Advisory Council on the Implementation of Pharmacare to look at how access to prescription drugs can be improved in our healthcare system. Patients throughout Canada are concerned that national pharmacare will lead to a list of covered drugs that only meets the lowest common denominator.

  • If elected, will your government support the implementation of a national pharmacare program that guarantees access to prescription medicines and a coverage plan that goes beyond a formulary that meets the lowest common denominator?
    • If not, please explain how your party will ensure that Albertans will have timely access to prescription drugs.
  • Will your government consult Albertan patients, survivors and caregivers on how to move forward with national pharmacare?

“The Green Party of Alberta supports changes that would see the cost of prescription drugs covered by our provincial healthcare program. The Green Party recognizes that the costs to government of providing pharmacare will be less if implementation of this program is put in place and coordinated across the country. For example, the provinces will be able to get a better price on many drugs if they purchase them jointly rather than province by province. Accordingly, the Green Party strongly supports a pan-Canadian approach to implementation of pharmacare but wants to see the province of Alberta show leadership on this issue.”

As far I am concerned if you don’t have Pharamacare then you don’t have health care. I don’t see how Canada can respect the principles of universal health care and not have government funded pharmaceuticals.

The Green Party of Alberta states that it intends to show leadership on this issue. I think the best way for Alberta to show leadership is to implement a Provincial Pharmacare plan. In this manner the rest of the country can have model to start from.

Question 3: Access to cancer rehabilitation services

Surviving cancer can leave a host of problems in its wake. Physical, emotional, and financial hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment.  

While advances in cancer detection and treatments have reduced mortality, persistent and late effects of cancer and its treatments need to be identified and managed lifelong, with rehabilitation programs filling a gap in survivorship care and responding to the need of some survivors for more specialized physical and mental recovery care.

  • If elected to government, how will you ensure that cancer survivors have timely access to rehabilitation services in Alberta that are timely and free?
  • If elected as an MLA, would you be interested in serving on the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network’s All-party Cancer Caucus which meets twice a year and is currently studying gaps in rehabilitation services in Alberta and how to fill them?

Early diagnosis and treatment of cancer is vital to reducing the mortality rate of cancer. Currently in Alberta Cancer treatment time are measured in Months. This is unacceptable. Cancer treatment time should be available within a few week upon diagnosis.

I also want to see a specific set goals set by the government to reduce cancer mortality to its lowest possible rate as soon as it can be accomplished.

I would also like to see the rapid implementation of new procedures.

If elected, I would absolutely love to join a All-party Cancer Caucus. More over I would like to see the results of this Caucus form a vital part of Green Party of Alberta health care policies in the future.

Stuart Andrews
Green Party of Alberta Candidate ED44