01 Apr April 1/10 – Media Release: Time to Enshrine CHA Provincially

Thursday, 01 April 2010

Time to Enshrine Canada Health Act Principles Provincially

Halifax, NS – 26 years ago today, the Canada Health Act, having been passed unanimously in the House of Commons, was given Royal Assent – protecting Medicare from privatization for a generation.

Today, the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network calls for similar all-party support to enshrine the principles of the Canada Health Act in provincial legislation and stop the growth of private, for-profit health care in Nova Scotia.

“We have met with all of the parties and not one has said they are opposed to enshrining the principles of the Canada Health Act in provincial legislation,” says Kyle Buott, Provincial Coordinator of the Health Network.

Prior to the last election, the Health Network wrote to then Leader of the Opposition, Darrell Dexter, asking him to commit to enshrining the principles of the Canada Health Act in provincial legislation.  The Premier wrote on April 6th, 2009 that an NDP government would update current health legislation and enshrine the principles of the Canada Health Act as it was a long-standing NDP policy dating back to Alexa McDonough’s fight against extra-billing in the 1980s.

“Today we are calling for action.  It has been 26 years since the federal government unanimously recognized the need to protect public health care from for-profit interests,” says Buott. “Nova Scotia needs to act and stop the growth of for-profit health care.”

Nova Scotia’s history with private, for-profit health care began in 2002 when the government allowed a private, for-profit MRI clinic to open in Halifax.  The clinic is suspected to be in violation of the Canada Health Act jeopardising Nova Scotia’s access to federal funds.  Later, the government would also allow Scotia Surgery, a for-profit surgical clinic to open in Dartmouth.  In 2008 they signed a P3 deal with Scotia Surgery.  In 2009, the government gave control over the telehealth service to the private, for-profit McKesson Canada.

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For more information please contact:

Kyle Buott
Coordinator
Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network
Work – (902) 406-9422
Cell – (902) 478-0239

About the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network:

Formed in 1996, the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network’s goal is to stop the privatization of the public health care system, ensure high levels of care, and create a forum for people and communities to discuss issues in health care.

The Network is a coalition of local health committees, community groups, organized labour, faith groups and individuals dedicated to protecting and advancing public health care to include services like pharmacare, dental care and long-term and home care.

The Network is political but non-partisan and receives no government funding.