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432-00087 (Health)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: Bilingual

Petition to the House of Commons in Parliament Assembled

We, the undersigned residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:

Whereas the World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity";

Whereas our national concept of healthcare should include disease prevention and health promotion, not merely the management of disease once it occurs;

Whereas investments made by Canadians in their own health through spending on self-care options - including natural health products; over-the-counter medicines; and wellness services - provide significant benefits and reduce costs to the system; and

Whereas the Government of Canada should make an effort to make healthcare more accessible to Canadians, particularly the most vulnerable populations;

Therefore, we, the undersigned, urge the Parliament of Canada to instruct the Standing Committee on Health to undertake a comprehensive study of the impact of uninsured self-care products and wellness services, and of the barriers which exist for those wishing to access it.

Response by the Minister of Health

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Darren Fisher

The Government of Canada is committed to upholding the principles of the Canada Health Act, which underpin Canada’s universal health care system.  The Act requires provincial and territorial health insurance plans to provide access to hospital and physician services on uniform terms and conditions.  This universal coverage aims to ensure that Canadians have access to health care services based on medical need, and not on the ability or willingness to pay.

 

The Government of Canada continues to take an active leadership role and to engage with the provinces and territories to support them in strengthening health care in Canada, which contribute to eliminating barriers for those accessing health care in Canada. The 2020 Speech from the Throne committed to advancing health care priorities, including:

  • working with the provinces and territories to set new, national standards for long-term care for seniors, and taking additional action to help people stay in their homes longer;
  • ensuring that everyone – including in rural and remote areas – has access to a family doctor or primary care team and continuing to expand capacity to deliver virtual health care;
  • further increasing access to mental health resources; and
  • accelerating steps to achieve national, universal pharmacare.

 

Natural health products are used and marketed for a number of health reasons, like the prevention or treatment of an illness or condition, the reduction of health risks, or the maintenance of good health. They must be safe to be used as over-the-counter products. Health Canada regulates natural health products and assures that all Canadians have ready access to a wide range of natural health products that are safe, effective and of high quality. Health Canada assesses all natural health products before they are sold in Canada and assures that they are properly manufactured without contamination or incorrect ingredients. The Department also conducts post-market monitoring to ensure that Natural Health Products Regulations are being followed.

 

Canada continues to face increasingly complex health challenges, including chronic disease, injuries and obesity. Addressing these issues requires multi-sectoral action from governments, non-governmental organizations, private industry, individuals, Indigenous partners and communities. The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of helping Canadians lead healthier lives. Healthy eating and active living leads to good health for all.

 

Under the notion of parliamentary privilege, which is enshrined in the Constitution, the House of Commons enjoys the exclusive right to control its debates and proceedings. It also manages its internal affairs and determines its own agenda without interference. Should the House of Commons instruct the Standing Committee on Health to conduct a study on access and barriers to uninsured self-care products and wellness services, or should the members of the Committee decide to conduct such a study, the Government of Canada would be available if called upon to participate. 

Presented to the House of Commons
Luc Berthold (Mégantic—L'Érable)
October 7, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00087)
Government response tabled
November 20, 2020
Photo - Luc Berthold
Mégantic—L'Érable
Conservative Caucus
Quebec

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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