20 Mar Media Release: Government hasn’t signed contract

Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Government has not signed Scotia Surgery contract, Open letter to government sent

Halifax, NS – The Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network is calling on the government to step back from its privatization agenda and not sign a contract with Scotia Surgery Inc. to outsource 500 orthopedic surgeries.  The Health Network confirmed today that the contract has not yet been signed.

The Network has issued an open letter to Premier Rodney MacDonald urging him not to sign the contract.  The letter is available on our website at www.nshealthcoalition.ca

“The provincial government has not yet signed a contract with Scotia Surgery,” says Kyle Buott, Coordinator of the Health Network. “There is still time for the provincial government to show it is serious about protecting public health care and step back from this privatization measure.”

The government announced last week that they plan to spend $1 million for the use of the private, for-profit facility.  Though physicians will be from the public hospitals, the private clinic will supply the support staff, including nurses.

“Outsourcing services to private, for-profit clinics will result in health care practitioners being diverted away from the public system towards the private system,” says Angela Giles, Atlantic Regional Organizer for the Council of Canadians and a board member of the Health Network.  “This will result in longer wait times in the public system.”

Giles spoke with officials in the Department of Health communications branch about the contract.  She was reacting to a newspaper column by the Premier saying that the contract will be made public and was surprised to hear the contract had yet to be signed.

“The provincial government needs re-evaluate its position on privatization and commit to the public health care system,” says Giles.  “The Council of Canadians has posted a National Action Alert to bring attention to this important issue.”

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For more information please contact:

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

Angela Giles
Atlantic Regional Organizer
Council of Canadians
W – 422-7811

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.