Madam Speaker, Wednesday's health accord represents a commendable start to improving health care in Canada. There is some confusion about the money because the Prime Minister is good at inflating the numbers, but the first ministers agreed with the deal.
Now, it is up to all parties to meet their commitments, work together, and improve health care for all Canadians. It is time for the squabbling to be put behind us and to focus on the needs of all Canadians.
There is much in the accord that the Canadian Alliance called for. We called for flexibility in implementing the new programs. We called for restoring funding for the core health services. We called for no restrictions on private delivery within the public system. We called for dedicated health transfers for adding transparency and accountability. We will now be holding the government accountable for the deal that it has signed.
Canadians want to see tangible improvements for frontline health care services, that is, more doctors, nurses, hospital beds, shorter wait times, and wider delivery options.
It is time to put health care on solid footing in the 21st century. That means putting the interests of the patient first.