Trudeau says Canadian health care isn’t living up to promise

Category : Health

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. live up to (something) / lɪv ʌp tʊ / (phrasal v.) – to meet or keep the expectations or promises set by others or oneself

    He studies hard to live up to his dream of becoming a doctor.

  2. build on (something) / bɪld ɒn / (phrasal v.) – to use something in the past as a basis for additional work or development

    The new project was built on the success of the old ones.

  3. premier / prɪˈmɪər / (n.) – the leader or head of the government in a country or a large part of a country

    The premier had a meeting with other world leaders.

  4. burned out / ˈbɜrndˈaʊt / (adj.) – very tired from working too hard or doing a difficult job for a long time

    Many doctors and nurses want to quit because they’re burned out.

  5. understaffed / ˌʌn dərˈstæft / (adj.) – not having enough staff members

    The factory is understaffed after several workers quit.


Read the text below.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada’s health care system isn’t living up to its promise, and he plans to add billions more in funding.

Trudeau said wait times in emergency departments have become dangerously long, people are waiting too long for essential surgeries and millions of Canadians are without a family doctor.

“For generations, public health care has been a core part of what it means to be Canadian. It’s built on a promise that no matter where you live, or what you earn, you will always be able to get the medical care you need. But right now, our health care system isn’t living up to that promise,” Trudeau said.

“Canadians deserve better,” he said.

Trudeau’s Liberal Party government has presented a new health care funding offer that would see Ottawa shift $196 billion Canadian (US$146 billion) over the next 10 years to the provinces and territories, which oversee health care in the country.

The government has set conditions for the extra funding by asking for commitments to upgrade health data collection and digital medical records.

The premiers have long been asking for more money and pressure increased as the health care system became further stressed by the pandemic. Burned out, understaffed health workforce and emergency rooms could not keep pace with demand.

About one-quarter of the offer, $46 billion Canadian (US$34 billion), is new money.

The premiers of Canada’s provinces say the offer will increase the federal share of health care costs to 24% next year, far short of the 35% the provinces and territories were demanding.

Still, most premiers appeared ready to accept the offer even as they promised the health care talks were not over.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Canada’s public health care system promises “that no matter where you live, or what you earn, you will always be able to get the medical care you need.” Do you think this is possible? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your country, what do you think the public health system should focus on (ex. providing cheap but effective medicines, building more hospitals)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The health care system became further stressed by the pandemic. How do you think a health care worker can cope with the situation? Discuss.
  • How can the government help the burned-out and understaffed health workforce? Discuss.
Category : Health