JointHealth™ express   October 13, 2015

ACE "Vote for Arthritis" Survey Results

Where the parties stand on arthritis health issues

One of the longest federal election campaigns in Canadian history is heading for the home stretch in a tight contest between the three major parties. To help you understand where the Conservative Party of Canada, New Democratic Party of Canada, and the Liberal Party of Canada stand on important issues for Canadians living with arthritis, ACE asked the major parties to complete a survey. The Conservative Party is the only party that did not respond.

Here is a summary of responses to ACE's survey from the Liberal Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party. You can review the ACE survey results in full here.

Does your party think standardized models of arthritis care is necessary? If so, what should the key components of this model be?

In its response, the New Democratic Party government stated it will examine the potential of a standardized model of arthritis care and engage the arthritis community in exploring the possible role of the federal government in this context. Citing there are still gaps and variations across the country in accessing the appropriate arthritis treatment at the appropriate time, the NDP acknowledged the need for a higher level of co-ordination nationally. The NDP cited the extensive groundwork provided in the Arthritis Alliance of Canada's Pan-Canadian Approach to Inflammatory Arthritis Models of Care as essential elements required in such an approach.

The Liberals acknowledged the impact that arthritis can have on health and stated its committed to ensuring that Canadians have access to a full range of related services, including preventative health strategies and ensuring Canadians have access to the tools and services that will lead to healthy, active lifestyles and healthier Canadians.

Will your government increase funding to the Canadian Health Transfer to address higher arthritis healthcare costs associated with the elderly population?

The Liberals committed to re-engaging on Canadian health care and negotiate a new Health Accord with provinces and territories, including a long-term agreement on funding.

New Democrats pledged to rejuvenate the relationship between the federal government, provinces and territories in order to provide Canadians with the health care they need. Respecting provincial roles, the NDP would lead strategies to fill gaps left by the Canada Health Act and make public health care more sustainable over the long term.

What will your government do to improve the healthcare of Aboriginal Canadians living with arthritis?

The NDP promised to work on a nation-to-nation basis with First Nations and, within that framework, promote the collection of survey data on the extent and nature of arthritis today in on-reserve First Nations populations. The NDP will move to integrate such data into inter-governmental discussions toward improving the health status of Aboriginal Canadians. The NDP would promote arthritis screening and care and make every effort to ensure the trust and openness necessary for the successful implementation of timely screening and treatment programs for arthritis.

The Liberal Party committed to immediately re-engage with First Nations in a renewed, respectful, and inclusive nation-to-nation process to advance progress on critical health issues. The Liberals are pledging to immediately lift the two percent cap on funding for First Nations programs, and establish a new fiscal relationship with First Nations –one that provides them with sufficient, predictable, and sustained funding to support the priorities of First Nations communities.