PHOTO FILE: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signs a book as he moves his cabinet after the resignation of Treasury Board President Scott Brison in Ottawa, Ontario, on January 14, 2019. Good Medical / Patrick Doyle

OTTAWA / TORONTO (Good Medical) – The Liberal government of Canada will propose a limited expansion of the country's universal health system in the spring budget to cover part of the cost of prescription drugs, informed sources told Good Medical situation.

The modest expansion of the health care program is poised to become one of the key promises of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's election campaign in anticipation of the October election, which stands out as a tight struggle.

The government would not commit to assuming 100% of the cost of prescription drugs for those who do not have insurance at their workplace, the sources said. This suggests that the government is leaning toward a narrower drug insurance plan that is more favorable to the insurance industry than that recommended by a government health committee last year.

A spokesman for Finance Minister Bill Morneau declined to comment.

Officials have not yet decided how many details to provide on the drug plan in the budget, which is scheduled for the week of March 18, said sources. They could come up with a general commitment to improve coverage and leave details of the campaign, they added.

However, new information on the inclusion of the drug plan in the spring budget and its limited scope provides a first glimpse of the government's blueprint for what has been called the "unfinished system" of the drug system. public health in Canada.

The sources, who spoke in the last few days, asked for anonymity because they were not allowed to speak to the media.

Report by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto; Edited by Denny Thomas and Matthew Lewis