NDP release more detail into universal pharmacare, dental coverage

Click to play video: 'NDP releases details on universal pharmacare plan, dental coverage' NDP releases details on universal pharmacare plan, dental coverage
WATCH: The federal election campaign continued with the NDP leader making his first stop in Saskatchewan – Oct 4, 2019

The New Democratic Party has made its latest election promise of offering universal pharmacare and dental coverage.

Leader Jagmeet Singh made a campaign stop in Saskatoon to announce the plan on Friday, which he said would be in place shortly after the NDP took office.

“It’s going to be when people start using their dental care program as well as their medication program. So we’re planning to have it implemented within a year. So that means by 2020, families should be able to go out and get the medication they need,” Singh said.

READ MORE: What you need to know about pharmacare this election

The plan would be supplemented by a wealth tax – one per cent on taxpayers earning more than $20 million.

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The NDP estimate that tax would bring in $70 billion over 10 years.

Several other parties have made promises to start a pharmacare program.

Click to play video: 'Three federal parties promising to introduce universal pharmacare' Three federal parties promising to introduce universal pharmacare
Three federal parties promising to introduce universal pharmacare – Oct 3, 2019

Earlier on the campaign trail, the Liberals announced their commitment to kick start a pharmacare system as part of a $6-billion investment in health care upgrades.

Leader Justin Trudeau said his government would work with provinces and territories to make sure the program was accepted and implemented coast to coast.

The Green Party platform has set aside more than $26 billion to set up universal pharmacare just in the first year of the program.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has said government could improve the price of pharmaceuticals by purchasing in bulk.

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READ MORE: National pharmacare debate alive and well in Canada. But will it happen?

In June, an advisory council found Canada should have set up universal pharmacare.

“Everyone in Canada should have access to prescription drugs based on their need rather than their ability to pay,” said council chairperson Dr. Eric Hoskins.

That report determined the program would cost $15.3 billion per year if fully implemented by 2027.

However Hoskins said drug prices have been increasing at a massive rate with Canada spending around $30 billion on prescription medication last year and that could rise to $55 billion by 2027.

-With files from Leslie Young and The Canadian Press

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