We know that we pay prices in Canada for our generic medications that are way higher than other countries pay and
there is no reason why we couldn’t bargain more effectively to bring down the
prices at those drugs and if we were able to do that even just for twenty medications that we
know are life-saving drugs for the management
of chronic disease we could pay for everyone to have those, access to those
prescription medications without spending a single penny more than we
already spend publicly. The medical societies are producing top
5 lists of things that physicians and patients
should question. They are all based in sound evidence. It is
not a rationing exercise, or cost-cutting
exercise. It is about trying to help people to identify
whether or not proposed health care interventions are
actually likely to do more harm than good. The third big idea is actually an
idea that doesn’t have anything to do with health care at all, but it is probably the single thing that would make the biggest difference
to the health of Canadians and that is to do something about poverty. The number one solution we should back is basic income, or what’s known as the guaranteed annual
income and this is a very administratively simple approach to
poverty reduction, it is run through the tax system and essentially you file your taxes at the
end of the year and if your income falls below a certain level below the poverty line, you get
topped up to a level that is sufficient to meet
basic needs. Health care is one thing that affects
health, but there are many more powerful forces at play in determining whether or
not people grow up and age in good
health and when we know that income is the primary driving force we should
be putting all of our efforts and energies behind doing
something about it.