The secret moves to increase private health care

January 10, 2019

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By BOB HEPBURNStar Columnist

Wed., Jan. 9, 2019

Premier Doug Ford loves to boast about how his Conservative government is moving swiftly to end “hallway medicine” and adequately fund health care in Ontario.

Indeed, Ford said earlier this week in a letter to Ontario’s 68,000 public servants that he has been “moving forward at a lightning pace” to deal with hospital overcrowding.

Premier Doug Ford, right, told Ontario bureaucrats this month that Health Minister Christine Elliott, left, is working hard to protect the public health-care system. Evidence suggests otherwise, writes Bob Hepburn.  (RICK MADONIK / TORONTO STAR)

Premier Doug Ford, right, told Ontario bureaucrats this month that Health Minister Christine Elliott, left, is working hard to protect the public health-care system. Evidence suggests otherwise, writes Bob Hepburn.  (RICK MADONIK / TORONTO STAR)

He also told the bureaucrats that Health Minister Christine Elliott is working hard to protect the public health-care system, adding his government “will continue to ensure necessary funding for world-class health care in Ontario.”

Secretly, though, a major multi-faceted campaign is underway inside and outside the premier’s office to develop a two-tier system of health care in Ontario, complete with specialized private clinics and the ability of some doctors to charge more than standard rates for medical procedures they perform outside of a public hospital or health centre.

The campaign is filled with closed-door meetings at such places as the Albany Club, a long-time Conservative bastion in downtown Toronto, and is funded by some of Canada’s largest corporations.

If successful, this privatization push could ultimately have a profound impact on every patient and resident in Ontario, including how long they must wait for specialized operations and diagnostic services and how much they must pay out of their own pockets.

Read more »

Why isn’t there a single medical licence for all doctors in Canada?

January 5, 2019

Canada has the key to lowering drug prices. Here’s why it won’t be used any time soon

January 4, 2019
By Kelly Crowe
November 24, 2018

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There’s a battle being fought in the backrooms of Ottawa and the outcome could determine how much Canadians will pay for new drugs.

The federal government has developed a series of regulations that would lower Canada’s patented drug prices, which are among the highest in the world. Canada is second only to the U.S. in per capita drug costs.

But the new rules were like a gauntlet thrown down in the path of the pharmaceutical industry which has been lobbying federal government officials ever since.

“Drug companies understand very well what’s at stake and they’re massively mobilizing to make sure nothing happens,” said Marc-André Gagnon, a pharmaceutical policy researcher at Carleton University.

The dispute is over a policy document called “Protecting Canadians from Excessive Drug Prices” — a series of amendments to the Patent Medicine Regulations that former Health Minister Jane Philpott announced on May 16, 2017.

Read more »

Premier John Horgan opens door to including dental coverage within B.C.’s health care system

December 15, 2018
By Richard Zussman
Online Journalist based at B.C. Legislature  Global News
December 13, 2018 1:27 am Updated: December 13, 2018 11:25 am

B.C. Premier John Horgan is not opposed to the idea of the province covering dental care as part of the provincial health care system.
Horgan was asked about the issue as part of a year-end interview with Global News.
“We have been looking at it and hopefully we will be able to do something about it in the next budget,” Horgan said.

WATCH: March 2018 — B.C. to increase number of annual dental surgeries
https://globalnews.ca/video/rd/1190039619518/?jwsource=cl

The Ontario NDP unveiled a campaign promise in March in to extend dental care to people in the country’s most populated province without insurance coverage.

The NDP estimated the plan would provide dental benefits to 4.5 million Ontarians at a cost of $1.2 billion.

READ MORE: Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath pitches public dental plan

Read more »

‘It Took 16 Years’: Health Workers Celebrate Repeal of Devastating BC Liberal Laws

November 21, 2018

From giving up hopes of home ownership to declaring bankruptcy, two bills changed lives. Now, ‘there is a hope.’

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By Andrew MacLeod 19 Nov 2018 | TheTyee.ca
For Catalina Samson, a provincial government decision 16 years ago led to a big pay cut and the death of her dream of owning her own home.
At the time she was working two food services jobs, both unionized, one at a nursing home and one at Vancouver General Hospital.
“I was happy at the time,” Samson said. “I was working well. Everything was in place as a worker. I was really setting my goal toward retirement too.” Read more »

Peter McKenna on Community Health Centers

November 7, 2018

One of the BC Rural Health Network’s community members, Salt Spring Island released two videos, interviewing Peter McKenna, Executive Director of the Rideau Community Health Services in Ontario, Canada.

With many thanks to the Salt Spring Island Community Health Society, and Peter McKenna.

https://youtu.be/jrnPyGPwdHw

https://youtu.be/JiTObivvgTI

Rural Coordination Centre features BC Rural Health Network

October 30, 2018
A delegation from the BC Rural Health Network posing with rural researchers at the 2018 BC Rural Health Research Conference which took place in Nelson, BC

A delegation from the BC Rural Health Network posing with rural researchers at the 2018 BC Rural Health Research Conference which took place in Nelson, BC

This grassroots organization may be young (it started up in December 2017) but has much wisdom to share.

The BC Rural Health Network is a collective of small communities working collaboratively to advocate for improved health service delivery in rural BC. 

The idea to create this group came after a presentation by the Princeton-based Support Our Health Care (SOHC) group at the BC Health Coalition Conference in 2017. SOHC presented a “how-to” workshop on organizing a Community Consultation on Health Care. 

Read more »

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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