Green Candidate Mike Urichuk – Morden-Winkler Electoral District

Question 1: National Pharmacare

The Moving Forward on Implementing National Pharmacare Report (2) calls for the creation of the Canadian Drug Agency, a new agency that would take a coordinated approached to assessing effectiveness and negotiating prescription drug prices; a national formulary; and a national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare diseases.

A: If elected, will your government support a National Pharmacare program by joining the Canadian Drug Agency?

  • Yes, our government strongly believes in ensuring comprehensive healthcare for all people.

B: If so, how would your government ensure that a National Pharmacare program will not reduce the number of prescription medicines available to patients?

  • The work to ensure a wide offering of medications to patients will be done in the formation of the national formulary. We fully recognize that the effectiveness and side-effects of medications vary from person to person. To truly support comprehensive healthcare for all people we need to ensure a wide selection of medications on the national formulary. Through consultation and collaboration with medical professionals, researchers, patients, and other levels of government we will work to ensure the formulary lists a wide-range of medications and is updated regularily to reflect the diverse needs of Manitobans.

 

Question 2: Tobacco Control

According to the No Manitoban Left Behind: Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Report Card (3), “Manitoba has some strengths in tobacco control… However, shortcomings…are stifling progress in tobacco reduction.”

If elected, will you work to:

A: Develop and implement a comprehensive tobacco framework that includes public education, policy and legislation, cessation programs, taxation and community/school programs, as included in the Summary Areas of Improvement listed in the No Manitoban Left Behind report?

  • The Green Party of Manitoba has identified an importance for preventative healthcare. The No Manitoban Left Behind Report suggests common sense reform and I will certainly work towards implementing the recommendations.

B: Implement a social responsibility fee on the tobacco industry similar in design to the fee required by the US FDA, with funds collected used to update programming to reduce tobacco use?

  • Manitoba currently has the highest tobacco taxes in the country, however, the revenue received do not cover the health related costs of tobacco usage. Sustainable funding models are a necessity for effective public policy. I will work towards ensuring funds collected from tobacco taxes are used to reduce tobacco usage.

 

Question 3: Breast Density

Over 40% of women over the age of 40 have dense breasts. Having dense breasts can make it more difficult for radiologists to detect cancer because dense breast tissue and cancer both appear white on a mammogram, creating a masking effect. As well, dense breasts increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. Women need to know their breast density so they can be proactive and mitigate their risk of a later stage diagnosis.

If elected to government, will you and your party:

A: Commit to notifying ALL women of their breast density in their mammogram results letter?

  • Through consultation with medical professionals we will ensure that this information is shared with patients. It is not enough to continue with our current system.

B: Commit to raising public awareness and education on breast density?

  • It is important to make the public, as well as professionals, aware of the impact breast density has on mammograms and therefore cancer diagnosis. I will certainly do this work when elected.

 

Question 4: Palliative Care

Manitobans live longer today than they used to, and they are becoming increasingly aware that the quality of life during those additional years is what really matters. Better advanced care planning and earlier integration of palliative care into the continuum of care in Manitoba would help avoid unnecessary and costly use of acute care, while providing enhanced quality of life for aging Manitobans. This will require an intentional focus on system-wide changes.

If elected, will you support:

A: Providing specific dollars to support organizations and healthcare teams in implementing palliative care programming, including increasing the number of residential hospice care beds in the province?

  • I will support this initiative.

B: Increasing the number of healthcare providers and services that focus on palliative care in the community and rural settings?

  • I will support this initiative.

C: Legislating changes to allow patients simultaneous access to both the Palliative Care Drug Access Program and the Home Cancer Drug program to allow seamless transition at end of life?

  • I will support this initiative.

 

Question 5: Manitoba All-Party Cancer Caucus

If elected as MLA, would you be interested in serving on the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network’s Manitoba All-party Cancer Caucus? The caucus will meet yearly and study issues vital to cancer patients and caregivers in Manitoba.

  • Yes