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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Investing in our health

Dewar calls for health investments in new national infrastructure program

OTTAWA – As Canada’s Health Ministers begin negotiations on a new Health Accord this week, NDP Leadership Candidate Paul Dewar called on the Harper Government to include health care investments in a new national infrastructure program.
“Mr. Harper excluded health care investments from the Economic Action Plan and ended federal support for medical equipment,” said Dewar. “It’s time for the federal government to invest in renewing our hospitals, community clinics and medical equipment.”
With the fragile state of the global economy and a mounting infrastructure deficit, Dewar has called for a permanent national infrastructure program to create jobs and improve our communities. By making health facilities and equipment eligible infrastructure investments, Canadians would see health care improvements in communities across Canada.
“Several provinces are building innovative community clinics to give patients faster access to care for non-urgent problems while taking pressure off busy emergency rooms,” said Dewar. “Provinces like Manitoba could build more QuickCare Clinics in more communities. In my riding of Ottawa Centre, community organizations could build projects like Hintonburg Hub which would provide front-line health care services at the community level and free up hospital beds.”
Dewar pointed to critical health care needs across Canada that could be addressed through this infrastructure program:
St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver is in desperate need of redevelopment, experiencing regular power outages and what a leaked report recently called “deplorable conditions”;
Ontario, Quebec and Alberta are suffering from acute shortages of long term care beds, leaving too many seniors languishing in hospital beds waiting for appropriate homes;
The Moose Jaw Union Hospital needs replacement and federal support could make it happen sooner.
Investing in modern health facilities and equipment is critical to providing quality care and to recruiting and retaining doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.

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