In recent times, health care has become the focal point of many political discussions, and rightly so. It is a cardinal necessity that impacts every citizen, young, old, rich or poor. In Canada, the conversation about health care is taking a prominent place, more now than ever. This narrative is no different for the provinces of Ontario and the Maritimes.
In an unprecedented move, the premiers of these regions recently convened to deliberate on health care matters. The discussion was not just a regular meeting between political actors, rather it was a strategic brainstorming session geared towards improving the well-being of their citizenry.
Ontario, with its significant population and robust economy, as well as the Maritime provinces, with their unique demographic characteristics, both share a common goal – the well-being of their citizens.
The meeting, which underpinned the significance of health care, brought to the fore critical issues such as the need for health care reform, the importance of accessible and quality health care services, and strategies for managing the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. These diverse yet interconnected subjects formed the bedrock of the meeting’s discussions.
On one hand, Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford emphasized the necessity for health care reform. He drew attention to the challenges associated with the existing system, like the long wait times for surgeries and diagnostics, and also how the current pandemic has revealed the gaps in the province’s public health response.
The dialogue on the management of the COVID-19 crisis also took a front seat during the meeting. The premiers stressed the need for a coordinated, public health-driven response that ensures citizens are protected and the spread of the virus is mitigated. They discussed the necessity of a robust vaccination rollout and effective public health measures.