Monthly Archives: February 2014

Canada’s Medicare System Under Threat

February 26, 2014
    We risk losing Canada’s public health care system in 2014.

Right now, there’s a dangerous legal attack before the courts that could turn Canada’s Medicare system into a US-style system – without the public having a say. The attack is driven by Dr. Brian Day, owner of a Vancouver for-profit clinic known for unlawfully billing taxpayer and patient money. Dr. Day is on a reckless campaign to replace Canada’s Medicare with a US-style system, and he’s using the courts to do it. The case is being called the most significant constitutional challenge in Canadian history. And it’s going to trial in BC Supreme Court in 2014.

What does this mean for you and your family?
If Dr. Day wins this case, we’ll lose the public health care system that our families rely on. Doctors will be able to set any price that they want. Expensive private insurance will become the new norm like in the United States where the cost of insurance for an average family of four is $16,000 a year. Most bankruptcies in the US are due to medical bills – we don’t want to see a Canada where we risk losing our homes or go deep in debt when we get sick or injured.

Public wait times will also become longer, as doctors and nurses are drained from the public system to the for-profit system. That means that waits will become much longer for the rest of us while the elite get preferential access.

Why it’s a national issue affecting all of us in Canada
Even though the case is in BC, it threatens health care for all of us. If Dr. Day wins the case the laws that protect our public health care system will crumble across the country. We have to make sure Dr. Day is defeated. Canadians take pride in a system that looks after all of us when we need it – we don’t want US-style health care.

There are real solutions to the challenges we face that won’t compromise the values of fairness and access to good health care for all. Who’s fighting for our public health care system? The BC Health Coalition and Canadian Doctors for Medicare are interveners in this case. This means that we are participating directly in the case, and we’ll be standing up for Medicare in court. But this fight will not only be won in court. We need you to make sure that Dr. Day is defeated by sending a clear message: we want a system that cares for everyone, and taking away our health care system is wrong. We need to make sure our voices are loud and clear in government, media and our friends and family – we want a Medicare system that works for all people in Canada.

What can you do?
We need your support to help save Canada’s Medicare system. Help raise awareness about this case in your community, and help ensure that we are speaking out together about the importance of protecting public health care in court.
Take action:
1) Sign up at www.savemedicare.ca and keep up to date on the case.
2) Spread the word in your community: help organize a local event, talk to your friends
groups in your area.
3) Write to your local newspaper, and let them know your concerns about this important case.

Visit www.savemedicare.ca for more information

Why it Pays to Practice Poor Medicine in BC

February 25, 2014

From The Tyee/The Hook

By VANESSA BRCIC

Published February 21, 2014 05:00 pm

[Editor’s note: The Tyee received this unsolicited op-ed from Dr. Vanessa Brcic, a family practice clinician scholar at the University of British Columbia, and we publish it here for your consideration.]

Health care is the biggest, priciest, and most important thing that government does. Hospital care swallows up a large proportion of the health care budget, but primary care in the community takes care of most patient needs and keeps people out of hospital. Patients who are connected to a family physician over time are healthier and live longer. But there hasn’t been much of a conversation about primary care reform in this province, and it’s time to start one. (The auditor general thinks so too.)

Doctors like myself are paid well in British Columbia, but we are paid by an antiquated compensation model called fee-for-service, which basically reduces medical visits to a Read more »

Medical Emergency Realities in Rural, Remote BC

February 25, 2014

For Princeton and Area residents who may find themselves in the unfortunate position of being sent by ambulance to the ER of another hospital, it is important to know that the ambulance only has the responsibility of providing one way service. Once they deliver the patient, the ambulance must return immediately to their home base. It is the patient’s full responsibility to make return transportation arrangements. This is BC provincial policy.

A few weeks ago, there was a story posted on the Princeton and Area Issues facebook page regarding a Princeton resident who was sent to Penticton Regional Hospital (PRH) by ambulance. Unfortunately, the story contained much misinformation and the gentleman in question is displeased that his privacy was invaded and that the story created so much bad press and hard feeling in our community. Based on information received from Interior Health, who looked into this situation, the PRH practitioners and staff acted professionally and followed appropriate procedure.

Stories such as this, based on rumour and misinformation hurt everyone involved. It is understandable that residents feel strongly about their health care but there are better ways for them to express their concerns. Representatives on the Princeton Health Care Steering Committee can be contacted directly or you can send comments or concerns by email to comments@princetonhealth.ca. The Committee will make every effort to address the community’s health care concerns in an appropriate and timely manner.

There is no disputing the fact that the policies and procedures that govern Emergency Rooms and BC Ambulance Services can create inconvenience or hardship for provincial residents who live a considerable distance from the closest regional hospital. However, we can’t blame our local leaders, health care practitioners, the ambulance workers, or even IHA for this reality. If change in policy is needed, it needs to come from the provincial government.

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SOHC Discussion Paper

Developing an Improved and Sustainable Health Care Model for Princeton, B.C
Support Our Health Care has released a discussion paper in order to get feedback from the community, politicians and professionals about the state of local healthcare and what the long term solutions should be.
Download PDF Here