05 Dec Media Release: Premier Admits Privatization Plan

Tuesday, 04 December 2007

Halifax, NS – In a speech to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce today, Premier Rodney MacDonald admitted his government plans to privatize the public health care system says the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network.

“The premier announced today that his government intends to bring in legislation allowing private clinics to operate for procedures like cataract surgery and hip replacements,” says Kyle Buott, Coordinator of the Health Network.  “This is a flawed plan that will led to higher costs and will jeopardize access to health care services.”

Allowing for-profit clinics to operate sets a dangerous precedent.

“The premier is setting a dangerous precedent by allowing for-profit clinics to operate,” says Buott. “This opens our health care system up to a trade challenge under the North American Free Trade  Agreement that could see large Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) from the U.S. come to Canada and set up shop, leading to the corporatization of our health care system.”

The only solutions to the problems in our health care system are in the public sector.

“Rodney MacDonald needs to open his eyes realize that all of the research demonstrates the only solutions to the problems in our health care system are found in the public system, not through privatization,” says Buott.  “Privatization creates even more problems like fewer health care practitioners in the public system, longer wait times, higher costs due to profit margins, and it limits access to care by creating a two-tiered system, one for the rich and one for the rest of us.”

“Privatization is a poison arrow aimed at the heart of our health care system.  Rodney MacDonald wasn’t elected to destroy the health care system, he was elected to improve it.  It’s time he got onto that job,” says Buott.

“The solutions are in the public system including traveling physician teams, increased used of nurse practitioners, queue management techniques and community health centers.  The government needs to stop talking about privatization and start fixing the real issues in health care.”

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For more information please contact:

Kyle Buott
W – 406-9422

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 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 non-partisan and receives no government funding.