Message from the Canadian Health Coalition

April 8, 2018

“On Monday, the Cambie court case resumes in British Columbia and it seeks to overturn the ban on private for-profit health care. This case will likely to end up in the Canada’s Supreme Court and threaten our entire public health care system.

The Canadian Health Coalition is calling on people to stand up & pressure Brian Day to drop the case.

Can you take 30 seconds to help us amplify pressure?

  1. Add your social media to our launch by clicking here: https://www.thunderclap.it/…/69319-put-patients-before-prof…

Using this tool (Thunderclap), public health supporters will post on Facebook & Twitter in unison & dominate coverage

Thunderclap only has permission to share this 1 post via FB & Twitter & can’t access anything else. 

2) Add your name to our letter: http://www.healthcoalition.ca/sign-the-open-letter/

Please ask others in your organization to add their social media too. The more people who sign up, the bigger the audience, and the larger our impact will be on the way Cambie case gets covered — and ultimately its outcome.”

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BC Minister of Health to enforce Medicare Protection Amendment Act

April 4, 2018

 

Health Minister Adrian Dix said individuals with an income of $15,000 have been paying $300 a year while those earning up to $30,000 have spent $600 on prescription-drug deductibles. As of Jan. 1, 2019, they will no longer pay any deductibles. JOSHUA BERSON/HANDOUT NDP / PNG

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health 

 

The following is a news release issued by the Ministry of Health, April 4, 2018:

In addition to increasing access to surgeries and MRIs, the Government of British Columbia is bringing into force outstanding sections of the Medicare Protection Amendment Act, 2003, to further support patients and strengthen B.C.’s public health-care system, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, announced today.

“I am taking action today to protect our public health-care system, and to correct the previous government’s failure to enforce the law, something done at the expense of patients,” said Dix.

The Medicare Protection Amendment Act, 2003, which enhances authority around extra billing, was passed in 2003, but some sections were not brought into force. Currently, the Medical Services Commission can audit practitioners and clinics, and can seek a court-ordered injunction to stop the practice of extra billing, but other actions are limited.

Extra billing means charging a patient or a representative for health care that should be provided at no cost, because it is covered under the Medical Services Plan (MSP), or publicly funded as a benefit under the Hospital Insurance Act.

During 2017-18, the Ministry of Health audited three private clinics. Based on these audits, as well as a previous one, Health Canada estimated that extra billing in B.C., in violation of the Canada Health Act, for the 2015-16 fiscal year, was $15.9 million. In March 2018, federal health funding to B.C. was reduced by this amount. Read more »

Thousands more MRI exams to benefit British Columbians

April 3, 2018
(flickr.com)

(flickr.com)

Ministry of Health – News Release
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

To give people faster access to the diagnoses and care they need, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, has announced that 37,000 more magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams will be done throughout the province by the end of March 2019, compared to the previous year.

Under the B.C. Surgical and Diagnostic Strategy, 225,000 MRI exams will be completed in 2018-19, up from 188,000 in 2017-18. To meet these ambitious targets, $11 million is being made available in the public health-care system to add resources and capacity.

“This is a bold step to dramatically increase the number of MRI exams being done in B.C., and this coming year alone, the increase will be close to 20%,” said Dix. “We are delivering on our promise to restore services and find capacity in our public health-care system so that British Columbians don’t have to wait months and months for prescribed exams. We know that by rebuilding and expanding capacity in the public system, we will improve access to care and patient outcomes.” Read more »

Great News!

March 23, 2018

surgery

The B.C. government will be implementing strategies that will increase access to surgeries such as hip and knee replacement.

B.C.’s wait times for some key surgeries are among the longest in the country – and have grown in recent years.

The provincial surgical strategy includes:

• Funding for 4,000 more hip and knee surgeries this year. Ongoing targeted funding of $75 million starting in 2018-2019 and increasing to $100 million in 2019-2020.

• Five specialized hip and knee replacement programs throughout the province designed to support increased surgical volumes, reduce wait times, and improve continuity of care for patients.

• Centralized intake, assessment, and triage with a single point of access so that people have the option of seeing the first available surgeon.

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0010-000460

All Canadians deserve pharmacare, not just MPs

February 17, 2018

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Sat., Feb. 10, 2018

The MPs mulling options for publicly funding medications will take their sweet time. There is no rush for them because they already have the type of publicly funded access that is being contemplated for other Canadians.

While about 3 million Canadians do not take medications as directed because of the cost, MPs and other lawmakers enjoy platinum medication plans for themselves and their families.

I am glad that our elected leaders have access to life-saving medications like insulin that was discovered in Canada and treatments for HIV-AIDS that extend life expectancy by decades. It would be absurd to allow our leaders to die preventable deaths while holding elected office.

But it is also absurd that other Canadians must either pay for medications or go without. The consequences of untreated diabetes include heart attacks, strokes and death.

 

Are we prepared to allow people who work as food servers, artists or small-business owners to die from treatable conditions? I know that our elected leaders are very important but the lives and limbs of everyone else are important, too.

The publicly funded medicine plans for lawmakers may delay the needed policy changes. MPs and other lawmakers are insulated from our frayed patchwork system, where some people have public or private plans but others do not.

Studies in the United States have shown that lawmakers who have children in private schools are less likely to vote for laws that support public schools. Canadian lawmakers may be slow to support publicly funded medication access for all Canadians because they would not be affected by the change — their coverage is already great.

Over the past 40 years, multiple reports have recommended public funding of medications. The recent witnesses that appeared before the parliamentary committee repeated overwhelming arguments for including medications in our publicly funded system. According to surveys, Canadians overwhelming reject the idea that access to medications should depend on your job.

Dr. Nav Persaud, family physician, Toronto

 

 

 

B.C. is worst province for drug-affordability: UBC/SFU-led study

February 14, 2018

PAMELA FAYERMAN
Published on: February 13, 2018 | Last Updated: February 13, 2018 4:25 PM PST
Vancouver Sun

Health Minister Adrian Dix said individuals with an income of $15,000 have been paying $300 a year while those earning up to $30,000 have spent $600 on prescription-drug deductibles. As of Jan. 1, 2019, they will no longer pay any deductibles. JOSHUA BERSON/HANDOUT NDP / PNG

Health Minister Adrian Dix said individuals with an income of $15,000 have been paying $300 a year while those earning up to $30,000 have spent $600 on prescription-drug deductibles. As of Jan. 1, 2019, they will no longer pay any deductibles. JOSHUA BERSON/HANDOUT NDP / PNG

Health Minister Adrian Dix said individuals with an income of $15,000 have been paying $300 a year while those earning up to $30,000 have spent $600 on prescription-drug deductibles. As of Jan. 1, 2019, they will no longer pay any deductibles. JOSHUA BERSON/HANDOUT NDP / PNG

B.C. residents are far more likely to face struggles with medication costs, especially drugs prescribed for mental-health conditions, according to a B.C.-led study published online in the CMAJ Open.

Analyzing the responses of 28,091 people who completed the 2016 Canadian Community Health Survey, researchers from the University of B.C., Simon Fraser University and two Ontario institutions found that overall, 5.5 per cent of respondents across Canada reported they couldn’t take their medications as prescribed because of costs. In B.C., the proportion falling through such cracks in the health system was highest, at 8.11 per cent.

Lead author Michael Law said there are two major factors that appear to be working against B.C. residents. “First, and most obviously, the high deductibles in the public (Fair Pharmacare) drug plan means people face significant front-loaded charges to access medicines. Second, the high cost of living, relative to other parts of Canada, means people have less available funds to spend on prescription drugs.”

Read more »

Patient Raves About Emergency Room Care In Princeton

February 14, 2018

 

Letters to the Editor - SS

Fast and friendly service at Princeton General Hospital

ANDREA DEMEERFeb. 14, 2018 9:44 a.m.

My name is Jody Graboski, and I own a place up in Tulameen.

Last Saturday, Feb 3 I had a bit of an accident with a chop saw and cut my forearm quite badly. A friend got me into Princeton Hospital within about 45 minutes of the accident, and I was treated for my cut right away.

The purpose of this letter is to thank the very nice and efficient staff at the emergency ward in Princeton. I could not believe how quickly they took care of admitting me, assessing my injury and taking care of it.

Time might have gotten away with me for a bit, but I think I was in and out of there within an hour and a half. That was with having to wait for the x ray technician to be called in after being stitched up, so they could be sure there wasn’t any further damage.

All told, I got 23 stitches inside the wound and outside.

If I was admitted to Abbotsford hospital, my hometown hospital, in the same time span I probably wouldn’t have gotten past the triage nurse. We actually joked that I might not have gotten my parking paid for in that time.

I would like to thank the staff there. They were very nice, courteous and helpful. As unpleasant as the whole thing was, they remained cheerful and kept my mood quite good.

The Town of Princeton is lucky they have such great people working on their behalf in the hospital.

Also should say thanks to my buddy Remo Maddalozzo for the quick trip into Princeton, and his wife Cheryl for phoning ahead on my behalf to warn them I was coming in.

Jody Graboski

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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