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Provenzano: Liberals would pursue health-care reforms

NEWS RELEASE CHRISTIAN PROVENZANO LIBERAL CANDIDATE SAULT STE. MARIE & AREA ************************* The time for action on health care is now SAULT STE.



************************* The time for action on health care is now

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON - The current health accord between the Canadian government and the provinces expires in 2014 but the Liberal Party of Canada believes that the time for action on health care is now.

In an announcement this past Sunday, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff committed to convening a First Ministers meeting on health care within 60 days of taking office.

Ignatieff has also committed to a sustained 6 percent annual increase in health-care funding.

Christian Provenzano is the Liberal candidate for Sault Ste. Marie.

He remarks, “Michael Ignatieff has shown Canadians that the Liberal party is ready to defend universal health care. In five years in office, Stephen Harper hasn’t met with the First Ministers once on the subject of health care and he hasn’t committed any funding beyond what was negotiated in 2004 by Paul Martin’s Liberal government.”

The increases in health-care funding proposed by Ignatieff will pave the way forward for system-wide reforms.

Two priority areas identified by the Liberals that will help contain costs and improve health-care quality are:

- Home care: to reduce hospital costs and improve the quality of health care; and

- Drug coverage: to increase accessibility and decrease the cost of prescription drugs.

Says Provenzano: “Our area has seen some recent positives in health care. The opening of the new Sault Area Hospital and the forthcoming nurse practitioner clinic are two steps in the right direction. However, there is still a lot of work to be done. In particular, better support and services for home care will help contain costs and reduce over-crowding at our hospital sites.”

The Liberal Platform also puts forward several other initiatives that will improve the health of Canadians, including a National Food Policy, a Canadian Health Promotion Strategy, a Canadian Brain Health Strategy and rural health care.

The early First Ministers meeting will be an opportunity to set direction for collaboration in these areas as well.

“Health care is too vital to risk to Stephen Harper’s hands-off approach,” says Provenzano. “We need a representative in Ottawa who will work constructively with the other levels of government to improve health care in our area. I’m ready to be that representative and I’m ready to start working on the health-care issue immediately. It’s time to put our area first.”

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