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Seniors care becoming focus for federal parties

The major political parties in the federal election are starting to speak out about health care and especially the need to address care for the elderly.

In the last week both the New Democratic Party and the Green Party have made major announcements focusing on these areas, moves which have the backing of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) for whom better care for seniors has been the main advocacy focus for several months.

“Having passed the halfway point in this election campaign, it is encouraging that our political leaders are now turning their attention to the health of Canadians and the health of our cherished health care system,” CMA

President Cindy Forbes and Past-President Chris Simpson said in a statement from the CMA.

The statement was released following an announcement Sunday, Sept. 13 by NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair that if elected the NDP would earmark $1.8 billion over four years in new funding for seniors care in the continuing care sector.

“The NDP's promise to deliver much-needed new funding to support the delivery of long-term care, home care, and palliative care is welcome news to the many Canadian seniors and their families who today are grappling with the shortages of our over-loaded health systems,” Forbes and Simpson stated.

Earlier in the week, the Green Party became the first federal party to commit to a national seniors strategy, in its party platform.

“The CMA welcomes the fact that each party has made some commitment to health-related issues so far this campaign,” said Forbes and Simpson, adding that the NDP announcement demonstrates that party’s serious commitment to addressing the challenges of elderly Canadians and their families and other party leaders need to step up “and become part of the solution on the health care issue of our time.”

As part of its campaign to have all political parties commitment to development of a national seniors strategy, the CMA is reporting all health and seniors election commitments on its DemandAPlan.ca website dedicated to the issue of seniors care.

Close to 24,000 people have now registered to the website – far in excess of the 10,000 the association had hoped to enroll when the campaign was launched.

Forward any comments about this article to: cmanews@cma.ca.