Real threats to public health care system

Donna Cameron Duncan Duncan – I wonder if people are aware that there are a couple of very real threats to our national health care happening? One is that Dr. Brian Day is pursuing a case in the BC Supreme Court challenging the ban on the sale of private insurance for medically necessary health care.

He is arguing that it is unconstitutional that people cannot purchase private health care.

If he succeeds in winning this case look forward to U.S.-style insurance, bankrupting families over medical costs.

And with the Harper government pursuing foreign trade deals imagine how many other

countries would love to get in on private hospitals and insurance. It’s a nightmare.

Then there is also the Harper government ending the Health Accord at the end of this month and refusing to talk with premiers to renew it.

In the last federal budget there were massive changes made to the Canada Health Transfer. The Harper government is eliminating the equalization portion of the Canada Health Transfer and replacing it with an equal per capita transfer.

This means that less populous provinces with relatively larger and more isolated populations will have more and more difficulty delivering more expensive universal health services.

Another budgetary change, beginning in 2017, the six per cent annual increase for the health transfer will be replaced with a formula that links the health transfer to economic growth.

This means that in times of high unemployment and economic downturn – when Canadians need access to care the most – the federal transfer will be reduced. This measure alone will result in a $36 billion cut in federal funding for health care over the next decade.

Does this sound like something you want? If not, you’d better start speaking out.

Donna Cameron

Duncan