22 Nov November 22/12 – Media Release: Great Day for Patients’ Rights and the Future of Medicare in Nova Scotia

For Immediate Release
November 22, 2012

Great Day for Patients’ Rights and the Future of Medicare in Nova Scotia


Halifax, NS – The new Insured Health Services Act is the most progressive change to health law in decades, says the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network.


“Today is a great day of patients’ rights and the future of Medicare in Nova Scotia,” says Kyle Buott, Provincial Coordinator of the Health Network. “The new law bans queue-jumping while reinforcing the bans on direct billing, extra-billing and user fees in health care.”


The changes reaffirm the province’s commitment to the five principles of the Canada Health Act – Universality, Accessibility, Portability, Comprehensives and Public Administration. It creates new, though limited, appeal mechanisms for patients.  The new law will help move more physicians off fee-for-service payments and onto alternatives payment plans – this is good for both patients and physicians.


“I am very pleased to see this legislation come forward today.  In my thirty years of working to protect, strengthen and extend Medicare, this is the single most important legislative initiative ever taken by a government in this province, and long overdue,” says Ian Johnson, Vice-Chair of the Health Network.


There are several areas of the proposed bill that the Health Network believes could be further improved.  Including moving the principles of the Canada Health Act from the preamble to the body of the legislation, annual reporting of the number of uninsured services performed that patients had to pay for out-of-pocket, a legislative framework for Community Health Centres, and more action on patient involvement and engagement with the health care system. The Health Network will plan to raise these issues through the law amendments process.


“We congratulate Health Minister Dave Wilson, previous Health Minister Maureen MacDonald and the provincial government for their bold action to protect patients rights and the future of Medicare,” says Lee Seymour, Chair of the Health Network.


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For more information please contact:
Kyle Buott


Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network

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.