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The Columbia Journal
P.O. Box 2633 MPO,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
Phone: 604-266-6552
Fax: 604-267-3342
ISSN 1712-3763
Web: www.columbiajournal.ca

This issue:

Public Affairs

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Columbia Journal logoVolume Ten, Number One   January 2005   www.columbiajournal.ca

    Stop health care privatization now, says BC Health Coalition

    CPP News Service

    The BC Health Coalition joined other medicare advocacy groups from across Canada to say that in the wake of the National Health Care Summit, there is no excuse what so ever for privatization measures.

    The Coalition says that after a decade of studies and commissions, Canadians are demanding that their governments act together to provide stable health care funding and urgently required national pharmacare and home care programs.

    But Coalition co-chair Alice Edge also urged the Prime Minister to stand behind his
    government’s pledge to “stem the tide of privatization.”

    “Our provincial government is clearly testing Mr. Martin’s resolve by its recent expansion of the use of privately-operated clinics to deliver public health care services,” says Edge, “even though studies show that further privatization will lead to added costs, less accountability, poorer quality service and even longer waits for patients.

    Edge says wait lists and waiting times have grown in Canada as private health care expands. And in B.C., more people are paying for services that were previously covered under public insurance.

    “The national accountability framework being touted by the Prime Minister Martin sounds good in theory, what will it mean in practice?” says Edge. “Without strong national standards and accountability, additional health dollars may be padding profit margins for investors in private clinics and P3 hospitals.”

    The coalition is made up of community groups, seniors and health care workers. It has vowed to continue to mount nation-wide campaigns urging provincial governments to invest the new federal funds directly into public health care, and not payments to for-profit corporations.

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