This budget is dangerous to your health
1 March 1995
Paul Martin's budget further threatens our universal health care
system, already under intense pressure. The federal cuts in transfer
payments will weaken a system of delivering health care which is
integral to what defines us as Canadians.
These cuts will have an adverse effect on the health of Canadians.
First, the government has slashed the size of the transfer payments
to the provinces. By 1998, the federal government will have cut
these transfer payments over the preceding three years by $8.5 billion.
The cuts in health care funding will squeeze public health care,
fuel calls for an American-style two tiered system, and threaten
our universal, equitable health care delivery system.
Coupled with the reduction, the government has collapsed transfer
payments to the provinces in the areas of health, welfare, and post-secondary
education into a single Canada Social Transfer, thus renouncing
its responsibility for ensuring adequate health care across the
Second, we now know that health care is only one component of what
keeps people healthy. The budget has also slashed the social safety
net which provides services to those in need. Strong evidence suggests
that the larger the gradient of income and wealth within a nation,
the poorer the health of the people.
The federal Liberal budget will hurt the most vulnerable in our
society, increasing the gap between the well-off and the poor, thus
contributing to a deterioration in health.
The federal government has put together a budget to please financial
markets, at the expense of attending to Canadians' human needs.
The financial markets are pleased, but they ignore the human cost
of the choice to avoid, for instance, serious increases in corporate
taxes on financial institutions as a solution to the deficit.
The Medical Reform Group, a physicians' organization committed to
the preservation of universal, equitable health care, find that
the Liberal government, in its zeal to cut the budget, has compromised
Canadian health care, and Canadians' health.
Gordon Guyatt, M.D.
Medical Reform Group of Ontario
Subject Headings: Abortion
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Care Myths Health
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