Big Win for BCHC and Canadian Doctors for Medicare

SOHC received the following letter from the BC Health Coalition on May 21st:

I just got great news from our team at the courthouse…
Dear friend,

We just got word from the Judge – key parts our evidence will be heard in the court battle to defend Canadian public health care!

Dr. Rupinder Brar from Canadian Doctors for Medicare and Adam Lynes-Ford, BC Health Coalition at the BC Supreme Court on May 21.

Our evidence will prove that Dr. Brian Day’s plan to bring US-style care to Canada will harm patients’ health, disrupt medical practices, drive costs up, and weaken the Canadian economy.

We’ve been able to get this far thanks to your support. Now, we need to raise $100,000 to cover the costs of bringing this crucial information to trial. Can you help?

The BCHC community represents over 600,000 people. If just 10,000 of us donate $10 each, we can bring this important evidence to court. Can you give $10 or more now?

Dr. Day claims that the defining principle at the heart of Canadian Medicare – that health services be provided according to patients’ needs, not their ability to pay – is unconstitutional. If Day wins, the public health care system that Canadians rely on – and overwhelmingly support – will be effectively dismantled right across the country.

Evidence shows that the kind of system Dr. Day is seeking would lead to longer wait times for care and poorer health for Canadians.[Keindler, SA. Policy Strategies to reduce waits for elective care: A synthesis of international evidence. Br Med Bull 2010; doi: 10.1093/bmb/ld1014.] On top of that, there is no evidence that private, for-profit care results in better care – not anywhere in the world.

Today we got the Judge’s go-ahead to bring forward new evidence in the case from our expert witnesses, including:
Marie-Claude Prémont, Professor of Law at the École Nationale d’Administration Publique, who will present evidence on how restraints on Medicare after Quebec’s Chaoulli case undermined patient access to care;
Dr. David Himmelstein, Professor in the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College and visiting Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, who will present evidence on the US health care system; the costs for-profit health care and health insurance could have for Canada and the high likelihood that US-based insurance companies are poised to jump on the opportunity to invest in a more private health care sector in Canada.
This is an important win for our side, and thanks to you for your generous support. Now the Judge will hear crucial information that would not otherwise be considered as he makes his decision.

But to be able to continue to bring forward our witnesses and participate to the maximum of our abilities, we need you to help us raise $100.000 now. Can you give $10?

Our ultimate goal is to make sure this dangerous legal challenge is defeated so that we can get on with the work of improving a system that cares for all of us. We’re happy to have you on our side.

With many thanks for your work to get us to this point together,

Rick Turner
BC Health Coalition Co-chair


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