What can YOU do?
"It is vital that we inform our MPs and MLAs about the important of saving medicare and keeping it publicly administered/delivered and publicly funded. Please fax your MP http://www.clc-ctc.ca/publicmedicare/
E-mail your MLA, or Sign a Petition here: www.mobilize4medicare.ca
Canadian Healthcare Coalition http://www.healthcoalition.ca/
|To the editor:
I am writing to object to the tone and substance of David Rodenhiser's "Clinic myths debunked" column of November 28. Mr. Rodenhiser seems to be dismissing any
opposition to the government's recent tabled private health facilities legislation with terms such as "disinformation" and "fearmongering". At the same time, he seems to be doing exactly what he is criticizing.
How else can you explain his stated assumption or "myth" that private, for-profit facilities will reduce wait times or that they will help reduce costs when the evidence is increasing to the contrary. This is especially the case because there is already a
shortage of many health care professionals. Allowing them to work in both the public and private, for profit systems means wait times and costs will increase.
If private, for-profit health care holds such promise, why would British doctors in the NHS Consultants' Association write last year to the Canadian Medical Association urging them to learn from their country's mistakes and reject private care and other
He also seems to be assuming in another "myth" that it is impossible to reduce wait times within the public system. Again, this is contrary to evidence just released by the Wait Time Alliance that reports governments are making some progress on achieving wait-time commitments although much more needs to be done. If this wasn't possible, why would the Federal Advisor on Wait Times conclude in his final report released in June that we need to fix wait times in the public health care system rather than encourage the growth of a parallel, for-profit health care system?
And finally, it isn't the Chaoulli Supreme Court ruling of last year that is increasing the urgency for provincial government action on wait times but increasing public pressures. That decision has little immediate application to Nova Scotia but there are certainly increasing public concerns for government action on a wide range of issues such as
cancer care, chronic pain, and pharmacare to name a few of them.
To achieve a law "that better represents the interests and opinions of Nova Scotians" requires an openness and a commitment to broad public debate and not a knee-jerk rejection of viewpoints different than his own.
Nova Scotia Citizens Health Care Network
3231 Connaught Avenue
winter and spring 2006
Ann Smith, Shirley Douglas and Debbie Kelly
Click on the picture to enlarge it
The voice of Kiefer Sutherland, Tommy Douglas's grandson,
and son of Shirley Douglas.
Canadian Women's Health Network
The Canadian Women's Health Network has
created and designed several
Campaigning for women's health on little or no
Trashing Tommy's Legacy
By MURIEL MacDONALD
A RESTORED, revitalized health care system is Canadians' No. 1 priority. Medicare is raised as the government flagship every pre-election only to be scuppered whether Grits or Tories win.
Prime Minister Paul Martin lowered the boom on Health Minister Pierre Pettigrew who told a Commons committee that the private, for profit sector was open to the provinces if publicly financed.
It already is, but the next day Mr. Pettigrew recanted. An angry Paul Martin, in Question Period, raised the ghost of his father and insisted that the five principles of the Canada Health Act - public and non-profit, comprehensive, universal, portable, accessible - are sacrosanct.
Why then has Mr. Martin appointed Alberta economist Paul Boothe to a senior position in Finance? Mr. Boothe is an author and lobbyist for more privatizing of health care. Mr. Martin has also hired in his own office a former lobbyist for private health care.
As well, the Earnscliffe Strategy Group, a.k.a the "Second Prime Minister's Office" represents and propagandizes for private health care interests.
This would have Tommy Douglas, the founder of medicare, turning in his grave. The solutions to the public's health problems faced by Tommy Douglas in the 1940s, and the outcomes, must be compared with Paul Martin's record.
When he was finance minister, Mr. Martin gutted health care and other social programs, boasting how government spending would be lower than at any time since 1951.
Now 10 years later, he is promising a 10-year plan. While we wait 10 years, privatizing interests can improve profits at taxpayers' expense. The tax breaks, uncollected loans, grants given big business and banks should be used to restore medicare.
When Tommy Douglas was elected premier of Saskatchewan in June 1944, Canada had a legacy of the Great Depression, a returning military, and a large national debt.
The Douglas CCF government "stabilized farm debts, introduced free treatment for tuberculosis, cancer, and mental illness, and free medical treatment for mothers on welfare, the old, and the blind. In mid-1945 there was a provincial government insurance corporation and, a year later, provincial automobile insurance," writes Walter Stewart in M.J. , The Life and Times of M.J. Coldwell, Stoddart Publishing Co. Ltd., 2000.
This did not bankrupt the province. "Saskatchewan rang up twelve budget surpluses in a row, beginning with the 1945-46 fiscal year," writes Mr. Stewart. North America's first public medical insurance program came into law July 1, 1962, introduced by Tommy Douglas. The doctors went on strike, refusing to work under a government-controlled program. Dentists, drug companies, political opponents, and the media opposed the "Bolshevik/Communist" plan.
Doctors were imported from Britain, the U.S., and parts of Canada. Lord Taylor, who helped introduce Britain's health care plan later, came to serve as mediator. The two sides signed an agreement and the doctors returned to work.
Tommy had guaranteed them an income, whether fee-for service or on salary.
In 1998, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) enshrined Tommy Douglas in its Hall of Fame, the only non-physician to be so honoured. Contradictorily, two years earlier, the CMA and U.S. health corporations met to promote public-private partnering in Canada's health care.
Public-private partnerships (3P) for hospitals and other health services is part of Paul Martin's agenda if you decode Pierre Pettigrew's promise to "redefine public management, not public ownership."
We have already paid for hospitals with our taxes. Under 3P, the private, for-profit sector will levy a mortgage that will never be paid while maximizing their profits.
The Liberals' 10-year plan vaguely includes home care, support for those facing huge costs, and changing the way doctors deliver services.
No mention is made of repealing the Mulroney government's Bill C-22 (1987), limiting Canadian generic drug manufacturing; nor Bill C-91 (1993), giving brand name drug corporations 20-year prescription protection, or more when minor changes are made in the formula. Result? Generic drugs in Canada are "well above the median foreign prices today," was noted in the Romanow report. Prescription drug prices increase unhindered.
The provinces are responsible for health care under a pre-paid single-payer plan. Without the federal government's sharing 50/50 with the provinces, the five principles of the Canada Health Act are dead letters.
Now I couldn't bring my maiden aunt, living alone, from Montreal to Ottawa, as I once did when Quebec paid for palliative hospital care, and she was visited by relatives.
Just leaving problems to be faced 10 years down the road guarantees to kill the universality of the system, creating the same problems faced 60 years ago. Tommy Douglas wanted medicare developed in two stages, acute care and prevention. Prevention has yet to happen.
In 1982 he asked, "How to reorganize a health care system that is lamentably out of date? Let's not forget that the ultimate goal of medicare must be to keep people well rather than just patching them up when they get sick."
Roy Romanow's Commission report has suggestions how medicare can be modernized, as have the Canadian Health Coalition, and health policy analysts including Monique Begin, Michael Rachlis, Robert G. Evans, Morris L. Barer, Patrick Lewis. Governments ignore them.
Liberal governments are chameleons, turning whatever political colour they perceive the country is going. Tommy Douglas warned, "Unless we arouse our neighbours and our friends and our communities to protest - we are sounding the death knell of medicare in this country."
The Liberals stole the agenda of right-wing corporatism. Are you willing to let them kill your medicare rights?
Muriel MacDonald is a long-time activist on behalf of Canadian veterans and
lives in Ottawa.
Here are contacts for you to consider
Minister Stephen Harper
Mail: House of Commons
|Hon. Tony Clenmment
Ministers Office - Health Canada
Brooke Claxton Bldg., Tunney
Fax: (613) 952-1154
P.O. Box 726
Halifax, NS. B3J 2T3
Comment Line: 1-800-267-1993
of Health Chris d'Entremont
P.O. Box 488
Halifax, NS. B3J 2R8
Ph: (902) 424-5818
Editor Seniors Safety
Prince George BC.
|MOBILIZE 4 MEDICARE
|Speaker of the Senate Dan Hays: email@example.com||
|Senator Catherine Callbeck: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Dave Wilson (NDP
Sung to the tune of O'Canada.
|Facts about our Health System||Information phone numbers||Nova Scotia MLA's||Community Links|
|HEALTH BOARD MEMBERS and CHAIR||Letters||Who can I contact in my Community?||Webmaster|
|Senators involved in the Kirky Report||Senators Phone List|
||D'entremont reopens private health debate|
|Vision Spray and why Canadian Politicians consider themselves 'Above the Law'||Uninsured Health Costs||Sept 2003 Minutes||Silver Donald Cameron / First Words||Medical Co-op|
|The rights of the Ill just like the rights of the Poor--NONE||Nova Scotia Breaks the Law||Canadians forced to set up Health Brokers||Romeo|
Debbie Kelly (902) 455-9164
|Letter to Premier Hamm Mar/04||Letter to the Health Ministers of Nova Scotia & CanadaApr/04||PM April 2004|
|MOH June 24/04||MOH July 12/04||MOH June 24(B) 2004|
|Healthcare Conf - Klien||Healthcare Conf -Charest (Fr)|
|Letter to Premier Hamm May 2005|
|Letter to the Herald||To the Editor|