24 Mar Media Release: Why is the government privatizing Telecare?

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Why is the Government Privatizing Telecare Service?

Halifax, NS – The Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network is extremely disappointed that the provincial government decided to privatize telecare services in Nova Scotia.

Instead of running this important service through the District Health Authorities or the Department of Health, the government decided to give a contract for this service to a private, for-profit business whose parent company is under investigation for fraud in the United States.

“It is outrageous to hear that the government has outsourced this important health care service to a private, for-profit company” says Kyle Buott, Coordinator of the Health Network.  “This should be a public service, run on a non-profit basis to enhance the health care system in Nova Scotia.”

The company, McKesson Canada, is a wholly owned subsidiary of McKesson Corporation, based out of San Francisco.  McKesson Corp has had numerous fraud allegations, including shareholder fraud, a prescription drug pricing scheme, and a Medicare fraud scheme that involved kickbacks from a nursing home to the parent company.

“Instead of giving contacts worth $6.5 million to a private, for-profit company, the provincial government should be investing to strengthen the capacity of the public health care system, including telecare,” says Buott.

This is the latest in the provincial government’s privatization attempts.

“In 2002 the government allowed a private, for-profit MRI clinic to open.  In 2008 they signed a deal with a private, for-profit surgical clinic.  Today they are continuing their privatization attempts by outsourcing telecare services to a for-profit entity,” says Buott.

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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.