Health: The Medical Consequences of Canada’s Election

The Story:

Last week, Canada held a general election. The Liberal Party won the largest number of seats, although its position in the next parliament will fall short of a majority. It is expected to wield majority power with the assistance of the New Democratic Party (NDP). It is fair to think of the Liberals as the center-left and of the NDP as the further left in Canadian politics. What consequences might this situation have for Canada’s healthcare system?


The Liberal Party set out a clear agenda on the subject of healthcare policy during this campaign. They said for example that after the election they would immediately invest $6 billion to eliminate healthcare wait lists, and another $400 million to expand telemedicine.

The waiting times is one of the constant complaints about the Canadian health care system. [A skeptic might say that one does not resolve such a problem by larger sums of money. The problem that if a service has virtually no cost, there will be no limit to the demand for it.]

In Pill Form:

The NDP’s platform, where it addresses healthcare, parallels and outbids that of the Liberals in important respects. Certainly if, as is now expected, the new government is a coalition of these two parties, then one can expect major new investments in healthcare for all.

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