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Women’s College Hospital leads Senator Bernie Sanders on Canadian healthcare tour

November 6, 2017

By Jennifer Lee

Senator Bernie Sanders recently came to Toronto on a cross-border learning tour to understand more about how the Canadian system works. Joined by a small delegation of American healthcare providers, the Senator spoke with doctors, patients and healthcare leaders about their own experiences either working in or being cared for under a single-payer system.

Sanders recently tabled the heathcare bill, known as “Medicare for All,” that aims to introduce a universal, single-payer healthcare system in the U.S. A firm believer that access to care is a human right and not a privilege, he is currently pushing for significant changes that would guarantee all Americans equal access to necessary care. 

On Saturday, October 28 he kicked off his tour at Women’s College Hospital (WCH) and was welcomed by president and CEO Marilyn Emery, Dr. Danielle Martin and Premier Kathleen Wynne. At the Crossroads Clinic, he was joined by Dr. Meb Rashid and Dr. Batya Grundland who introduced him to two of their patients. Both spoke about the various times in their lives that they had depended on the Canadian system, for either themselves or their families.

The Senator later participated in a roundtable discussion with patients and Ontario healthcare leaders at WCH where the conversation focused on the benefits of our single-payer system and how WCH is working to close some of the health gaps that exist. He then went on to meet with leadership at Mount Sinai Hospital where he stopped in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to meet with new parents whose babies had been born prematurely. The tour ended with a final stop at Toronto General Hospital and University Health Network’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, where he met with more doctors and patients who had received a double by-pass and heart valve replacement.

Sanders returned to the U.S. following a public event held at the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall, where he is expected to share his first-hand knowledge and experiences south of the border to build support for changes in the American system.

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