Nurses applaud critical milestone for Canada's pharmacare

TORONTO, June 4, 2024 /CNW/ – A major piece of legislation that will change the social fabric of Canada is closer to becoming law. On Monday, members of parliament voted in favour of the Liberal government’s pharmacare bill after passing third reading in the House of Commons. The bill now goes to the Senate before it receives royal assent.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) has advocated for national pharmacare for years. “Access to medication is a human right and nurses are thrilled lawmakers are committed to progress towards a universal, single-payer, national pharmacare program,” says RNAO president Dr. Claudette Holloway.

RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun adds: “As the Senate deliberates, we ask nurses and members of the public to call on senators to focus on Canadians’ health and wellbeing, and not be swayed by the disinformation campaign of pharma and insurance lobbyists. Canadians want to celebrate a historic agreement on a pharmacare program – not increase the returns of already very profitable industries.”

While Canada has universal health coverage, it remains an outlier among other developed countries which are already providing pharmacare. “We are confident the federal government in concert with the New Democrat Party will ensure Canadians receive the drug coverage they need for their health,” adds Holloway. She says “the two classes of drugs included in the agreement – medications for diabetes and contraceptives – are critical starting points. The first supports social determinants of health, and the second supports women’s control over their reproductive health.”

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public we serve. For more information about RNAO, visit or follow us on X (formerly Twitter)FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.

SOURCE Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario

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