Liberals Water Down Commitment to Review Medical Travel

WHITEHORSE – After committing to a review to improve the medical travel program last March, the Liberals have now watered down this commitment.

Instead of using the last 7 months to conduct this review, the Minister of Health has taken no action. Now her government has gutted an Official Opposition motion by removing reference to ensuring the needs of Yukoners are met, establishing clear timelines, and facilitating any consultations.

The Liberals will instead now look at medical travel as part of their comprehensive health review that is intended to find ways to reduce spending at Health and Social Services.

After a leaked government memo indicated the Liberals ordered all Departments to find 2% cuts in their operations budgets, the question is whether the comprehensive health review is part of this cut-finding exercise and if medical travel will actually be improved.

“I am extremely disappointed that the Liberals are abandoning their original commitment to launch a medical travel review,” said Patti McLeod, Official Opposition Health Critic. “The program needs to be adjusted to support Yukoners, especially those in the communities. It is absolutely disrespectful to Yukoners that that government has shown no urgency on this issue and is instead rolling this into a larger cost-saving exercise that is intended to find cuts in the Department of Health.”

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Background:

The original motion that was passed unanimously on March 14, 2018 reads:

THAT this House urges the Government of Yukon to initiate a review of the medical travel program in order to ensure it is meeting the needs of all Yukoners.

After the government took no action to follow up on this motion, the Official Opposition brought forward a new motion that was debated on October 3, 2018 and reads:

THAT this House urges the Government of Yukon to follow through on the review of the medical travel program that it committed to on March 14, 2018, which is intended to ensure that it is meeting the needs of all Yukoners by:
(1) confirming if work has begun on this review and provide an update on work completed to date;
(2) committing to public consultations as part of this review; and
(3) providing a deadline for completion of the review.

The Liberals did not support this motion and removed reference to ensuring the needs of Yukoners are met, timelines, and consultations.

The government’s amended motion reads:

THAT this House urges the Government of Yukon to follow through on the review of the medical travel program as part of the Comprehensive Health and Social Services Review. that it committed to on March 14, 2018, which is intended to ensure that it is meeting the needs of all Yukoners by:
(1) confirming if work has begun on this review and provide an update on work completed to date;
(2) committing to public consultations as part of this review; and
(3) providing a deadline for completion of the review.

 

Contact:
Madison Pearson
Communications
(867) 393-7026


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