Heart & Stroke looking for future health funding commitments from federal government

First steps toward pharmacare encouraging

OTTAWA — Heart & Stroke is encouraged by the federal government’s commitment to the health of Canadians in its 2019 budget. Notably, Heart & Stroke is pleased to see a commitment to establish the foundational elements of a universal pharmacare program, including the creation of a Canadian Drug Agency and the development of a national formulary. A universal pharmacare program with a robust national formulary continues to be a goal for Heart & Stroke.

“We are eagerly anticipating the final report from the Advisory Council this spring. Heart & Stroke supports the creation of a universal pharmacare program where the public payer is the first payer,” says Yves Savoie, CEO of Heart & Stroke. 

Heart & Stroke is also optimistic about the government’s intention to develop a National School Food Program as part of the National Food Policy. This is the first ever commitment to a national nutrition program of its kind in Canada. A school nutrition program is a good step in addition to the Healthy Eating Strategy, which includes the recently revised Canada’s Food Guide. School food programs across the country are helping to turn the tide of unhealthy eating in children.

Among other significant investments in Indigenous people and their priorities, $15 million over five years is being allocated to support a Northern Isolated Community Initiatives Fund. This fund will support community-led projects for local and Indigenous food production systems.

Heart & Stroke is also looking to the government to complete its work on front-of-package labelling and to work with the Senate to ensure the quick passage of Bill S-228 to restrict the marketing of foods high in salt, sugar and saturated fats to children 12 and under. 

“Heart & Stroke looks forward to working with the federal government on the remaining components of the Healthy Eating Strategy, as well as addressing the alarming increase in youth vaping and smoking rates,” says Savoie.

About Heart & Stroke

Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. Together, we are working to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy. heartandstroke.ca

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Jennifer Spencer