Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial premiers met in Winnipeg to address soaring healthcare costs and how to fix the healthcare system in Canada. But while they agreed the cost of healthcare is unsustainable, the way to go about fixing the ailing system is not so certain. “This is an elephant in the room for all of us,” said Quebec Premier Jean Charest. Some governments are currently spending around 40% or more of their total annual budget on health care, making it difficult to find money for education and other social programs. British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell agreed healthcare costs remain “a significant issue” that must be addressed for future generations, and urged putting more money into preventive care, but also said adopting user fees to cover the costs of treatments and drugs is not acceptable. The premiers meetings come just after a new report from Canada’s doctors called for the country’s health system to be “massively transformed.” The policy document from the Canadian Medical Association said the principles of the Canada Health Act are not being met and must be updated.
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