|MedicAlert Foundation Canada is pleased to see the focus on health as the primary emphasis of Budget 2021. Specifically, Budget 2021 made significant new investments to systemic infrastructure designed to support and protect Canada’s most vulnerable populations.
As one of the largest central repositories of health data in the country, MedicAlert, a registered charity that provides an individual’s health information to first responders when a person is in the midst of a health crisis, we are thrilled that the government is making a significant commitment to data infrastructure and data collection that will aid in evidence-based decision making and policy development.
As an organization that has dedicated the last 60 years to protecting Canada’s most vulnerable populations, we are also pleased to see the government specifically calling out support for Canada’s embattled Long-Term Care (LTC) Sector. Canada’s seniors will represent 25 per cent of the population within a decade, and the burden of care will tilt dramatically to the community setting. A focus on national standards of care in the LTC sector, and a commitment of $3 billion over the next five years to ensure new standards are achieved, is an important step in the right direction.
Additionally, the government’s commitment to children’s well being, mental health supports and indigenous health, signals a focus on service delivery for other vulnerable populations, especially in remote communities where there are challenges with access to care. The government’s commitment to these specific areas mirrors many of our emerging programs within our own plans.
We are also pleased to see support for the charitable sector through the resurrection of the Investment Readiness Program. Also welcomed is government’s commitment to public consultations with charities over the coming months on potentially increasing the disbursement quota and updating the tools at the Canada Revenue Agency’s disposal, beginning in 2022. These consultations signal potential increased support for the charitable sector and those that rely on its services by between $1 billion and $2 billion annually.
“This budget is the shot in the arm the health and charitable sectors need right now,” says MedicAlert President and CEO, Leslie McGill. “MedicAlert’s work cuts across all aspects of the health system. The fulsome commitments made in Budget 2021 will ensure that many of this country’s most vulnerable populations – those we work to protect every day – will have greater access to care, and that providers who are responsible for that care – those we partner with to ensure protection in a health emergency – will have greater insights and capabilities supported through infrastructure, research and manufacturing capacity investments.”