Treasury Board continues to stall health care review over refusal to modernize

After nearly a year of discussions (and 3 years of delays), the Treasury Board continues to reject forward-thinking strategies to upgrade the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP). 

The PSHCP is reviewed every 5 years. The Treasury’s Board’s opposition means more delays to the review process and that members remain covered by an outdated plan which hasn’t been meaningfully updated in 16 years.

While the Treasury Board has been open to discussions and some benefits improvements, they remain opposed to changes necessary to modernize the plan, deliver better results at lower costs, and meet the changing needs of members. 

This includes measures to direct money away from excessive drug costs, and toward things that actually make a difference to plan members. Most large employers including Bell Canada, the CBC/Radio-Canada, and the Ontario Public School system have introduced strategies to lower runaway drug spending without reducing access. These include independent reviews of certain high-cost drugs by specialist pharmacists, or partnering with mail-order pharmacies to offer lower prices on routine medications. 

On the flip side, the PSHCP continues to pay for most drugs whatever the price – resulting in a plan that prioritises pharma's profits over delivering comprehensive care.

Modernizing how the plan treats costly drugs means savings – and means more money for reinvestments in greater health coverage and member benefits.

We continue to work with our partners to ensure that this review addresses these and other changes that plan members are calling for.

The PSHCP is an employer-sponsored health care plan for current and retired federal public service employees and their families. Benefits for public service workers are not negotiable under the law, so PIPSC and its partners play an active advisory role during periods of review and bring forward your suggestions and concerns.