Medicare's uncertain future
Andre Picard, Globe and Mail reporter, speaks at Dal Feb. 28
Billy Comeau - February 28, 2012
“Medicare matters to us all – individually and collectively.”
That, says Andre Picard, is why all Canadians should be concerned with the future of medicare in Canada.
The public health reporter for the Globe and Mail will be at Dalhousie Wednesday, Feb. 29, to talk about just that in his lecture entitled, Medicare: Can It Survive 25 More Years? The lecture is presented by Canada’s Public Policy Forum (PPF) and kicks off their 25th anniversary celebration.
“Health insurance is the number one expense for governments, and one of the principal costs for employers and individual taxpayers,” says Mr. Picard. “At the same time, medicare is a key social program, a way of ensuring access to health services with a modicum of equity and fairness.”
Taken for granted?
Mr. Picard is concerned many Canadians tend to take medicare for granted, at least until they need it, then think it will magically take care of everything. He believes this is a naïve view.
“We need to recognize that medicare is an insurance program, with all the benefits and shortcomings that implies,” he explains. “We also need a better grasp of our history to understand why we have a universal health program and why it is markedly different from other countries.”
From his lecture, he hopes people understand that good social programs like medicare should be living, breathing entities that adapt to the needs of the population.
“In Canada, medicare is frozen in time. We need to drag it, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century if we want it to be around for another 25 or 50 years.”
Medicare: Can it survive 25 more years?
When: Wednesday, Feb. 29 - 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Scotiabank Auditorium, Marion McCain Building, 6135 University Ave
Seating is limited. Visit the Public Policy Forum website to register.
In 2012, the Public Policy Forum celebrates 25 years of advancing policy dialogue across Canada. The February 29 lecture at Dalhousie University is the inaugural lecture of the PPF’s 25th Anniversary Lecture Series. This series will provide an imaginative look at the issues and opportunities that will affect Canadians over the next 25 years.