Mr. Speaker, health care is one of the top concerns of Canadians, and shockingly, it is not on the Conservative government's agenda.
There is a crisis in our emergency departments where it is frequently the norm to wait eight to twelve hours for care.
There is also a medical manpower crisis. Fifteen per cent of graduating nurses cannot find jobs in Canada so they go to the United States. We need them, but the resources are not there to pay for them. This is against a backdrop where the average age of a nurse is in the late forties. For physicians it is worse. Their average age is older.
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians cannot find a family doctor. As we get older, so too do our caregivers. This demographic time bomb is exploding and will devastate our health care system.
I call on the Conservative government to act now and work with the provinces to implement a national health care workforce strategy for physicians, nurses, technicians and other health care workers to get the right number of people in the right places.
Without these health care professionals, we will not have a health care system.