By Roy Romanow
Dec 03 2011
The following is an excerpt from a speech this week in Toronto by Roy Romanow, former premier of Saskatchewan and commissioner on the future of health care, to the Canadian Health Coalition:
Today, an overwhelming majority of Canadians believe in a vision of medicare that is rooted in our narrative as a nation — a vision that sees health care as a “public good” and a right of Canadian citizenship.
But there are others, with a different vision — one that sees health care as a commodity. One that believes that markets should determine who gets care, when and how.
That’s why, now more than ever, we need to engage and mobilize Canadians in the fight to secure and expand medicare.
Now, more than ever, we need to reaffirm the original vision of a truly comprehensive public health-care system that provides a continuum of services and includes a universal program of home care, long-term care and pharmacare.
We need to embrace comprehensive policy solutions that tackle root causes instead of surface symptoms; that bring about systemic changes instead of quick fixes; that promote long-term benefits, instead of short-lived gains.
We need to root ourselves and our work in the values that have shaped this great country: fairness, diversity, equity, inclusion, health, safety, economic security, democracy and sustainability.
Now, more than ever, is the time to recapture the moral and political strength to see ourselves in our own place, in our own time, informed by our own values, and within our own actual narrative, as an independent nation, worthy of the respect of a world that needs an even better Canada.
In doing so, we shall once again put our nation’s policies on track and resume the task of building an even greater Canada.