It’s time to honour this wisdom and rally around Tommy Douglas's vision once again.

Because none of us want to flee a burning home when the fire could have been prevented. Of course we’re grateful for firefighters and their heroism, but preventing fires is much less deadly, damaging and costly. Waiting to invest until people are ill is like showing up with hoses once the fire is already raging. We want to prevent sparks from getting out of hand. 

This means clinics and hospitals should be the last stop, not the first stop, in our health system. The first stops for good health are found in our neighbourhoods, jobs, child cares, and schools – something the pandemic made painfully clear. 

When we act like hospitals are the starting point for good health, it’s no wonder we get stuck putting out medical care fires, and risk being burned in the process.  Medical care and social investments are not an either/or proposition. They are two sides of the same coin. Provincial governments have neglected the social side for too long, leaving holes in our health system that have become fire hazards.

Get Well Canada calls on governments to recognize that Canadians "Get Well" when we have safe and affordable homes, living wages, quality child care and schools, and a healthy environment. Investing in these social supports even more urgently than medical care will help save our health system and tackle our affordability crisis, making Canadians happier, healthier, wealthier and more resilient for generations to come.