How CARP Has Fought for Your Healthcare

CARP has been fighting for the healthcare of older Canadians since its inception in 1985.

Advocating for changes to public policy change and societal attitudes is a marathon, not a sprint.  CARP advocates through education, as well as community, media and governmental engagement.  You can read about how public policy changes here.

We are grateful for the volunteers across Canada who join us in raising their voices for change.


The pandemic was a wake-up call in many ways, and not the least in how broken Canada’s long term care system has become.  CARP advocated strongly for the below changes that occurred recently.

  • In Nova Scotia, a separate Ministry of Long-term Care was created
  • Ontario Minister of Long-term Care was replaced
  • CARP’s demand for unscheduled comprehensive inspections of all long-term care homes was carried out and meaningful fines and penalties introduced for homes that fail the inspections.
  • Ottawa Chapter advocated strongly for a move from institutional to emotion-based care.


Since the 1980s, CARP has advocated in support of equitable access to healthcare in the context of the high cost of pharmaceuticals.

  • CARP’s advocacy has resulted in provincial age-based, income-based, and employment-based programs that offset the cost to individuals.
  • Most recently, when Ontario recently tried to introduce a new co-pay for seniors’ prescriptions, CARP’s strong opposition resulted in the proposed policy’s demise.


Studies show the majority of Canadians would prefer to age in place.  Canada invests significantly less in home and community care than similar countries.

  • CARP was instrumental in a $6 million home care commitment from Federal government to provinces.
  • CARP continues to fight for government investment and supports that would allow Canadians to age at home.
  • Nova Scotia Chapter published a Homecare position paper with analysis and recommendations
  • Ottawa Chapter provided a robust falls prevention education campaign


Immunization saves more Canadian lives than any other form of health intervention.

  • NACI recommended high dose flu vaccines are now available at no charge to Canadians 65+ in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon, New Brunswick and PEI.
  • Shingles vaccines are now available in Ontario for seniors 65-70 years old.


Dental coverage is a big issue for our seniors who have a fixed income and low savings.

  • In 2023, the federal government promised new dental care which will provide coverage for uninsured Canadians with annual family income of less than $90,000. CARP continues to advocate for the interests of older Canadians in the implementation of this new care.
  • Ontario provides coverage for the lowest income as a result of Ontario’s advocacy.


Canada’s healthcare has been notoriously slow in embracing innovation, and Canadians pay the price in diminished care and health outcomes. Among the most shocking results, Canada ranks 18th out of 20 comparable countries for the time it takes for us to have access to new medicines (i.e., two and a half years after a medicine first gets approved in the world).

  • After CARP’s outcry, the federal government put a hold on a number of changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) that would make access to innovative treatment even more problematic.


All Canadians deserve to live out their lives with dignity. For that to be possible improving end-of-life care must become a health care priority.

  • CARP’s advocacy efforts have seen significant changes in the way Canada treats those at the end of their lives.
  • The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Canadians have the right to a ‘good death’ where patients have the dignity of control and choice.


Optometrists in Ontario pay out of pocket for their patients’ supposedly public funded care.  In 2021, after months of requests for formal negotiations with the government, optometrists stopped providing OHIP-funded eyecare.

  • CARP pushed hard for negotiations between the government and the Ontario Association of Optometrists, ending job action by optometrists, and ensuring the two parties could seek a fair and sustainable funding model that ensures ongoing availability of eyecare.  In March, 2023 the OAO and the government made a historic agreement.
  • CARP is pushing for Bill C-284, a federal eyecare strategy.


  • Focused educational efforts on how older Canadians can advocate on behalf of their own healthcare especially as it relates to cancer treatments.