January 25th, 2021

// Canadians Support National Self-Care Strategy to Bolster Healthcare System & Empower Canadians

Canadians Support National Self-Care Strategy to Bolster Healthcare System & Empower Canadians

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 25, 2021 /CNW/ - New polling conducted by Abacus Data on behalf of Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada (FHCP) found that the overwhelming majority of Canadians (93%) support a national self-care strategy to help Canadians take better care of themselves and make our healthcare system more sustainable in the face of rising costs, an aging population, and the COVID-19 crisis.

The survey also found that majorities of Canadians think emergency room wait-times, access to family doctors, and overall capacity of the publicly-funded healthcare system are "unacceptable" and expect health spending to increase over the next decade.

FHCP CEO Michael Graydon commented: 

"To save time and money and keep our publicly-funded healthcare system sustainable, Canada must urgently develop a national strategy to improve health literacy and strengthen access to the self-care information, products, and services that will empower Canadians to take better care of themselves.

Self-care adds up to massive impacts to support our healthcare system. If just a tiny portion of Canadians who visit a doctor for mild colds, headaches, or heartburn practiced self-care instead, we could eliminate 3 million unneeded doctor visits annually and free up resources to allow an additional 500,000 Canadians access to a family doctor."

According to the World Health Organization, strengthening self-care reduces costs and increases healthcare quality, access, and equity. When the United Kingdom National Health Service identified self-care as one of its four pillars and instituted supportive policies, use of publicly-funded healthcare services reduced significantly, health and quality of life improved, and patient satisfaction increased. 

FHCP is calling for the federal government to urgently implement a National Self-Care Strategy,  which will have multiple benefits including to strengthen the consumer health product sector that produces non-prescription medications, treatments, and natural health products Canadians rely on to treat minor health ailments, manage or prevent chronic diseases, and more.

Bipartisan majorities of Canadians support measures that could be included in a National Self-Care strategy, for example:

  • 81% of Canadians support making non-prescription and natural health products more affordable by removing GST 
  • 75% of Canadians support allowing non-prescription medications and natural health products to be claimed for the Medical Expense Tax Credit

Abacus Data will host a digital conversation on self-care February 3, featuring an in-depth presentation on public understanding and support for self-care, along with expert insights on the benefits of self-care for individuals' and public health. Registration is free, and further details are available here.

About Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada
Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada (FHCP) is the voice of Canada's largest manufacturing employer. The food, health, and consumer products sector employs over 350,000 Canadians across businesses of all sizes that manufacture and distribute the safe, high-quality products that are at the heart of healthy homes, healthy communities, and a healthy Canada.  VisitOnEveryShelf.ca to learn more. 

SOURCE Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada


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