Weekly Top Stories: Liberals Face Criticism Over Canada Disability Benefit

Published on
May 6, 2024
Written by
Delphic Research
Read time
5 min

In this edition, we will update you on the latest stories, from the debates over disability benefits to the implementation of the dental care plan. Each story underscores the complexities and challenges facing policymakers and citizens alike.

There are fervent discussions surrounding the Canada Disability Benefit. Critics accused the Liberal government of prioritizing insurance industry interests over the needs of disabled Canadians.

Despite assurances from Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister Jenna Sudds, concerns persist regarding the adequacy of the proposed support, which amounts to around $2,400 annually and falls significantly short of addressing basic living expenses, potentially leaving many below the poverty line.

Critics and beneficiaries alike argued that the allocated funds failed to meet the real-life challenges faced by those depending on disability support.

Meanwhile, the controversial $13-billion Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) launched, marking another significant milestone. With over 6,500 dentists now registered, CDCP will begin its coverage for the first one million seniors who have signed up for the program, as stated in Health Canada’s news release. Online applications are also now open to uninsured people aged 65 and above, provided that their yearly family income does not exceed $90,000.

However, the rollout has not been without challenges. The Canadian Dental Association dubbed the CDCP a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” but continued to urge the federal government to close the policy gaps and address dentists’ concerns.

Additionally, remarks from Sally Pipes, President of the Pacific Research Institute, shed light on the disparity in healthcare wait times between Canada and the United States. Pipes noted that Canadians wait up to 2.5 years longer for medicine than Americans, and the federal government’s drug price control pushed pharmaceutical companies to file 50% fewer drug applications in Canada than in the United States. The federal policy impacted timely access to medicine and the availability of new drugs on the market, with Americans having eight times more drug access than Canadians.

A detailed study sheds light on the financial toll of healthcare wait times in Canada. The Private Cost of Public Queues for Medically Necessary Care, published by The Fraser Institute, revealed that waiting for healthcare in Canada costs more than $3.5 billion annually.

According to the report, the long queues in receiving treatment bear a cost at the patients’ expense, as calculated in lost work hours during weekdays. However, the study claimed that if the computation included weekends and evenings, the actual cost could be as much as $10 billion.

As we reflect on the events of the past week, it becomes evident that healthcare and social welfare issues remain at the forefront. However, through collective action and informed policymaking, there lies the opportunity to create a more equitable and resilient healthcare system for all Canadians.

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