Official Liberal Party Response

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?

  • Manitoba Liberals believe strongly that no Manitoban should ever be forced to choose between life-saving medication and paying their bills. If elected, our life-saving drugs program would cover the deductibles on medications needed for cystic fibrosis, cancer, diabetes and HIV. Having introduced petitions to the Manitoba Legislature calling on the province to support a National Pharmacare program, a Manitoba Liberal Government will continue to support a National Pharmacare program.

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

  • As part of a National Pharmacare program, price and supply arrangements would need to be negotiated with drug manufacturers to ensure that high demand drugs are readily available. We will work closely with the federal government, drug manufacturers and others along with pharmaceutical supply chain to guarantee a smooth transition while ensuring patients are able to receive needed medications on time when they need them.

 

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?

  • Manitoba Liberals believe that education and public awareness are the best ways to help people make good decisions about their health. We will work with groups like the Canadian Cancer Society and the Manitoba Ling Association to ensure that the province is an active partner in reducing tobacco use in Manitoba.

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 Liberals have promised a province wide tax review which will also be tasked with reviewing fees associated in tobacco, reviewing effectiveness of tax frameworks in order to reduce tobacco use.

 

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?

  • Manitoba Liberals will ensure that all women are notified of their breast density in their mammogram results. We are aware that breast density can hide the signs of breast cancer and may make it harder to detect. Manitoba women deserve to know if they are at risk of not catching the signs of breast cancer.

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

  • We will commit to increasing public awareness and education on breast density. Our party will also work with community organizations to help increase awareness so that Manitoba’s women are more aware of their health and safety.

 

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?

  • Manitoba Liberals will empower the health care system and enable them to enact changes in a patient-based and focused model. Under the Pallister government, we have seen healthcare deteriorate within our province. We will commit to increasing the quality of palliative care within Manitoba.

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

  • Manitobans deserve to be treated within their communities. Too often we see patients transferred to Winnipeg while lacking their support network which can greatly benefit the recovery process. A Liberal government would mean an increased focus on providing care where Manitobans want it most, in the community.

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?

  • Accessing multiple drug programs is a confusing process for so many Manitobans in need. End-of-life care is a highly sensitive area, ensuring that Manitobans are treated effectively and efficiently is of the utmost importance. End-of-Life care should not lead to undue difficulties or confusion to patients. In addition to our drug program changes, we will work to legislate changes that best transition patients through our health-care system during some of their most sensitive times.

 

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.

Please respond ‘yes’ if interested

  • Yes