21 May May 21/11 – Letter to the editor: Public must be engaged

Written by Kyle Buott

Saturday, 21 May 2011

*Printed in the Chronicle Herald on May 21st*

 Public must be engaged

By 2014, the provincial and federal governments will negotiate a new funding deal for public health care. This is an opportunity to protect, strengthen and extend public health care.

First, we need to stop growth of private, for-profit health care across the country. In 2008, we found 89 suspected violations of the Canada Health Act, meaning privatization is a major problem in Canada. Public health care should be strengthened with new national standards that will improve care for patients. We also need adequate federal funding to ensure all Canadians have access to care in their communities, regardless of where they live.

Finally, public health care must be extended to include vital services like Pharmacare, long-term care and home care. This will make sure no families go without the prescription drugs they need and that all seniors can live in dignity as they age.

We have an opportunity to improve public health care for a generation, but it will only happen if the public is engaged and organized. We can’t leave it to the politicians. The Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network is organizing public briefings around the province. Check it out at www.nshealthcoalition.ca.

Kyle Buott, Co-ordinator

Nova Scotia Citizens’

Health Care Network