Today during Question Period in the House of Commons Chamber, Sheehan asked the Minister of Health, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas-Taylor, for an update on the government’s most recent actions in dealing with the national opioid health crisis.
Sheehan is concerned for individuals and families in the Sault who are battling addictions.
“People need help and they need it now. The federal government taking this effective and rapid action is going to save lives.” said Sheehan.
The Health Minister responded to Mr. Sheehan by confirming her announcement made today, that the government will be making it easier for patients to access opioid substitute therapy. Right now, health care providers such as physicians and pharmacists must apply for an exemption from the Controlled Drug and Substance Act to prescribe, sell or provide methadone with approval from Health Canada.
“This change is common sense, by removing some red-tape we get people the help they need, faster and more efficiently which will result in lives saved.” said Sheehan.
Sheehan was also pleased to hear the Health Minister reference the recently tabled federal budget 2018 which addresses the unique needs of rural and northern communities in battling the opioid crisis. The government committed $231.4 million over five years to fight the opioid crisis that has already claimed thousands of lives. This includes a $150-million emergency fund for provinces to launch treatment programs, a $18.7-million education campaign to fight stigma and $31.6 million to border officers intercept fentanyl at the border.