LABRADOR CITY – NDP Leader Alison Coffin and Labrador West candidate Jordan Brown committed to changing the Medical Transportation Assistance Program (MTAP) so families don't pay for airfare to medical appointments upfront.
"Labradorians are telling us they're frustrated with the lack of health care services. Family doctors come and go quickly and it's very difficult to get an appointment with a specialist or mental health professional. People have to travel to medical appointments because the services just aren't being made available here in Labrador—and it costs them a fortune," said Coffin. "People are tired of Liberal and Conservative governments who keep treating Labrador like an afterthought."
Under the current MTAP system, Labradorians are expected to cover the cost of travel to medical appointments upfront and then wait for the government to reimburse them.
Last month, a Liberal Minister defended the program calling it "generous" and claimed that there was "discrimination in favour of Labradorians." Brown says the comments are incredibly disappointing and points out that travel costs are so prohibitive communities often fundraise for families to get to medical appointments.
"I'm not surprised Labradorians are pitching in to take care of each other but it should be up to the government to make sure we have the services we need," said Brown. "How can you call 1000 dollars from MTAP 'generous' when it costs upwards of 2400 dollars to take your child on a flight to St. John's? That's before you pay for food or a hotel. The Liberals just don't get how expensive things are here. New Democrats are the ones who will fight for the people in Labrador West to have the services they deserve."