Why a Two-Tiered System Won’t Solve Our Health Care Woes.

Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Mar. 27 2014, 7:44 AM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Mar. 27 2014, 9:01 AM EDT

Canada is about to face its second court challenge over restrictions on private health insurance when Dr. Brian Day’s case appears before the courts in September. It is true that there are examples of jurisdictions that value universal health insurance coverage and also allow private insurance – the U.K. and Sweden would be two examples. But it is important to note that although these countries, among others, may allow for private insurance, they still have many of the same problems with their health care system that Canada does. Continue reading

United Church Members Are Being Asked to Sign a Pledge for Medicare

The momentum is building. The following is an excerpt from a communication released by the United Church of Canada on Tuesday, March 25:
“For 60 years The United Church of Canada has advocated in support of universal health care. Now the church is calling on its members to sign the Medicare Pledge launched by the Canadian Health Coalition, a public advocacy organization dedicated to the preservation and improvement of Medicare.”

To sign the Medicare Pledge go to http://medicare.ca/medicare-pledge

Health Council of Canada closes its doors for good.

The following is an excerpt from: http://www.longwoods.com/content/23705

On March 31, 2014, the Health Council of Canada will close its doors for good. The council was established in the 2003 health accord, and the 10 years of its existence have been both progressive and tumultuous, not unlike the ups and downs of Canada’s healthcare systems more generally. Whether or not you agree with the decision to close the council, or whether you care, there is a need to assess what will be lost. Continue reading

Support Public Health Care

Please download our brochure to familiarize yourself with how the expiration of the Canada Health Accord will negatively affect our Canadian health care. Join us at the Princeton Rally on March 31, Veterans Square @ 12:00 noon to send Ottawa a strong message of support for Public Health Care in Canada. Bring a red umbrella, wear red, make a placard, be creative!

pdf Keep Health Care Public! brochure

Budget 2014 triggers Harper’s plan to dismantle national health care

Excerpts from an article by Michael McBane in the February 17, 2014 issue of The Hill Times

“Federal transfer payments to provinces were first used in order to establish national standards in health care delivery across Canada. On Tuesday, February 11th, Prime Minister Harper turned this on its head by tabling a budget that will use federal transfers in order to eliminate national standards in health care.” Continue reading

Private For Profit Clinics Hurt Our Public Health Care.

BC Health Coalition’s letter to the Editor in response to Pamela Fayerman’s blogpost on the clinics case is in today’s Vancouver Sun:

Re: Medicine Matters blog post: Dr. Brian Day vs. the B.C. government and antiprivatization foes: legal case twists, turns, March 10

Dr. Brian Day’s legal case is about more than patient access to private surgery centres. Dr. Day claims the basic principle at the heart of Canadian medicare – namely, that health care be provided according to a patient’s need, not their ability to pay – is unconstitutional.

A 2010 review of international evidence found private providers had not made major reductions to any country’s waiting lists. Studies in Canada and Europe show patients whose doctors work in both public and private systems have the longest waits.

Canada does not need health care reform via an end-run in the courts driven by for-profit clinic owners. We need the expansion of evidence-based pilot programs in our public system that have been shown to reduce waiting times for elective surgeries. We need to demand better from our leaders. Polls show the public favours investment and innovation in public health care to improve the system for all, not -profit health care that benefits only a few.


BC Health Coalition co-chair

Also, check out the letters from Cliff Bolt in the Comox Valley Record and Troy Zohner of the North Central Health Coalition in the Prince George Citizen.