moved for leave to introduce Bill C-450, An Act to amend the Canada Health Act.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this bill.
I recently held nationwide consultations on the state of health care in Canada.
I met elderly people waiting for hip replacements and parents with kids waiting for mental health assessments. In Canada, there is an explicit agreement about health care. The state provides health care services and, in exchange, Canadians expect that their loved ones will be taken care of: except that the state is not keeping up its end of the bargain. Politicians get to say when and where people get their care, but they are not accountable to deliver health care in a timely manner. This is wrong. We need to take the politics out of health care.
My bill would amend the act to add a sixth principle, accountability. What I mean is the government's accountability to the patients it serves.
Accountability means that insured health services must be delivered in a timely manner. This is the health care guarantee that Liberal Senator Michael Kirby spoke of in his report. Accountability means that governments must be more responsive to patients' needs. Accountability was considered as a founding principle in the 1960s but was not included in the final five. It is time that it was.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)