Liberal leader Justin Trudeau announced on Monday a number of promises to improve the healthcare system in Canada, but experts say the plans so far lack key details and may not result in the profound changes needed.
The Liberals promise that their government will allocate $6 billion in financing over four years if re-elected to decrease waiting times, guarantee access to family doctors, and enforce, among other projects, a domestic pharmacare program. There were no particular timelines provided by the Liberals.
The party has experienced criticism that the Parliamentary Budget Officer has not analyzed and cost every fresh commitment, as other sides have done.
Flood wants more particular party data and, if re-elected, the Liberals should provide more concrete policies, such as any economic incentives they would provide to provinces and territories that meet minimum waiting times.
She worries she won’t change much without more detailed commitments. And a lot is at risk.
At the announcement on Monday, Trudeau was questioned by a reporter what he would say to concerns that the scheme was not concrete.
Dr. Joel Lexchin, a Toronto emergency room physician and emeritus professor at the School of Health Policy and Management at York University, echoed Flood’s feeling that there are profound problems in the health care system that need to be resolved.
While access to acute care is fairly good for individuals residing in urban and suburban regions, he said the scheme lacks the powerful supervision of the organization.
He added that the federal government can only do as much as most of the information and financing allocations are supervised by the provinces and territories when it comes to waiting times and access to primary care.
The Liberal announcement is welcome for Dr. Sandy Buchman, a family physicist, and president of the Canadian Medical Association, and he is happy to see that representatives of the federal party recognize that health care is a top issue for voters. He’s been worried for a long time that millions of Canadians have no family doctor.