17 Jul Media Release: GPI Atlantic Study shows need for action on uninsured services

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

GPI Atlantic Study demonstrates need for action on uninsured health services

Halifax, NS – GPI Atlantic’s most recent report by Andrew Sharpe and Lars Osberg, Economic Security in Nova Scotia, shows that the provincial government needs to take action on the costs of uninsured health services.  According to the study, from 1981 to 2007 out-of-pocket spending on health care services more than doubled from 0.79% of income to 1.68% of income, an increase of 113.9%.

“The provincial government’s campaign against public health care continues to be exposed,” says Kyle Buott, Coordinator of the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Heath Care Network. “It is clear that the provincial government’s policies of outsourcing and de-listing services are leading to higher out-of-pocket health care costs for Nova Scotians.”

The report shows that the average Nova Scotians pays $407 a year in out-of-pocket health care costs. The majority of which is spent on prescription drugs, dental services, health supplies and other uninsured services.

“The provincial government’s lack of action on uninsured services will allow these services to become increasingly inaccessible for most people,” says Buott.  “Also, the province’s failure to create a universal Pharmacare program with no upfront costs will see that $407 in out-of-pocket costs rise in the coming years because of the astronomical increases in the price of pharmaceuticals.”

The report’s statistics show that action is needed to reduce the financial costs of care to individuals.

“The provincial government should take decisive action to ensure all Nova Scotians have access to the health care services they need,” says Buott.  “The Health Care Network highlighted some of these policies in our 12-Point Platform to Protect Public Health Care including enforcing the ban on extra-billing, and a transparent and democratic process for de-listing health care services.”

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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.