25 Mar Media Release: Health Network Starts Provincial Tour

Monday, 24 March 2008

Health Network Launches Provincial Tour to Protect Public Health Care

Halifax, NS – Public health care is under an increasing threat of privatization, says the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network.  Today, the Network is launching a 14-town tour of Nova Scotia to talk about public sector solutions and legal steps the provincial government must take if it is serious about its commitment to the public health care system.

“Over the last few months, Premier MacDonald has issued a call for increased private sector involvement in the health care system, including private delivery of services and Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) for health infrastructure,” says Kyle Buott, Coordinator of the Health Network.  “Today, we are launching a major provincial tour to meet with communities and discuss the issues facing our health care system and how we can solve these problems in the public system.”

At a media conference today, the Health Network unveiled a list of 12 legislative changes the provincial government must bring in to protect the public health care system.  The changes include enshrining the 5 principles of the Canada Health Act in provincial law, prohibiting the sale of private health insurance, and creating elected boards for the District Health Authorities, among other reforms.  For a complete list of the proposed reforms check out www.nshealthcoalition.ca

“Our proposal for changes to the provincial laws will strengthen the public health care system, ensure communities’ voices are heard, and stop the profiteers in their tracks,” says Buott. “The provincial government appears to be going backwards, towards a private health care system that Canadians rejected in the 1960s.  We need to strengthen the public health care system, not tear it apart.”

The provincial tour will visit more than a dozen Nova Scotian towns and communities, with stops from Yarmouth to Glace Bay, from Halifax to Amherst.  The Network’s local health committees, in cooperation with various local organizations, unions and individuals, have been busy making preparations for the tour over the last few months.

“Around the province our message of protecting, strengthening and extending Medicare is resonating.  We have members on the ground in dozens of communities working to get local health committees organized,” says Buott.  “The response has been amazing.  Local communities are worried about privatization, they are worried about losing access to local health services, and they are worried about the rising cost of prescription drugs.  The government needs to show leadership by implementing the legislative changes we’ve proposed and rejecting privatization.”

For a complete list of tour locations, dates and venues please see our website at www.nshealthcoalition.ca

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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

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.