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Patient Critical Co-op’s Managing Director, PJ Mierau, is a patient representative to the National Health Leaders Conference planning committees for Toronto 2019 and Edmonton 2020.

Health must be heard on the hustings this fall

On June 10th and 11th, 2019, over 800 healthcare leaders, professionals, administrators, care providers and patients took part in the National Health Leadership Conference (NHLC), sponsored by HealthcareCAN and the Canadian College of Health Leaders.

NHLC aims to cultivate movement from knowledge to action, and The Great Canadian Healthcare Debate, a key component of the conference, seeks to increase awareness of important policy issues in healthcare.

This year’s debate centred on the coming federal election. André Picard introduced the 2019 Great Canadian Healthcare Debate by saying “we decided to put the focus clearly on Ottawa, on the Feds, because there’s an election coming up (and) an opportunity to drive health policy.

NHLC’s planning committee commissioned Abacus Data to conduct a survey of national healthcare issues. The survey was not limited to conference attendees, but available online for anyone to add their perspective.

The survey results showed that 1 in 2 Canadians want healthcare to be a focus of the coming election, and healthcare is considered an election issue by voters supporting all national parties.

The debate asked three panelists to address: What is the most important health policy to transform Canada’s health system that national parties must commit to in the upcoming federal election? The positions:

Basic Income Guarantee, debated by Dr. Danielle Martin
Patient Access to Digital Health Records, debated by Julie Drury
National Pharmacare, debated by Dr. Philippe Couillard

The debate can be viewed here over the summer months using the conference password NHLC2019.

I am writing this open letter to ask each National Party to provide their official position on the three health policy issues debated. This letter has also been shared online and with NHLC attendees, and I encourage everyone to ask their local candidates where they stand on these three important health policy issues.

PJ Mierau
Patient representative, National Health Leadership Conference
Managing Director, Patient Critical Co-op

Patient Critical Co-Op is Canada’s only national, member-patient owned and operated healthcare advocacy and education organization.

This letter reflects the opinions of Patient Critical Co-op based on Abacus Data survey results of more than 1500 Canadians.