Health Services Committee Summary – April 22, 2024

Pharmacare Update – The ACER-CART president has written a third letter supplementing the New Mode campaign and it is posted on the website.  This letter emphasizes the importance of the single-payer designation, in addition to reference to a National Formulary and a Bulk-Buying Procedure. Attention was given to the need to include other classes of drugs in the plan, such as antibiotics, blood pressure medications, cholesterol and psychiatric medications.

In keeping with our commitment to a National Pharmacare Program, all Member organizations are requested to keep up the pressure on local politicians.

Discussion re: the role of CPP in retirement income – It is the consensus of the committee that the CPP was not designed to be a sole source of income in retirement; it was meant to be a supplement.  The committee feels that it is necessary to promote an educational component to inform seniors about the benefit of CPP. This will be referred to the ACER-CART Pensions and Retirement Income Committee.

Discussion re: Ageing in Place lead to the drafting of the following list as possible priorities for an Ageing in Place program or policy.

  • Adequate in-home care workers at all levels.
  • Assessments for homecare needs to be readily available.
  • Economic stability.
  • Publicly funded to ensure equal access.
  • Social and emotional supports, both in the home and community.
  • Transportation is a must to provide access to these supports.
  • An emergency care system to take care of vulnerable persons.
  • Access to medical personnel.
  • Safety and accessibility in one’s home.
  • Appropriate housing and adequate availability
  • Plans to mitigate social isolation
  • Physical and Social activities.

To aid our future discussions and to assist our committee members refine this list to a smaller grouping of five (5) priorities, the following documents will be referenced: Long Term Care, Ageing at Home. Ageing at Home #1, Ageing at Home #2.

The committee briefly discussed strategies as to how best advocate for an Ageing at Home Policy. It was suggested that we need an educational piece to inform others as to what a senior is.

Canadian Dental Care Plan – Many seniors on low pensions are finding dental insurance prohibitively expensive. Dentists across the country are not signing on to become part of the CDCP, citing the onerous administration of the plan as a reason for their decision. Our ACER-CART President will write to the relevant politicians and outline that the criterion to avail of this benefit should be income based. Dental health impacts all areas of health and needs to be an assured benefit.