30 Sep Strengthening public care

Published in The Chronicle Herald on Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Strengthening public care

I think the Sept. 25 editorial “Health-care delivery: Flex credits” missed the point about how the government’s “Better Care Sooner” has helped to improve emergency health care.

The real value of the Better Care Sooner initiative is that its five major parts are aimed at strengthening public health care. They include improving access to health-care providers, making emergency care more streamlined, providing better care for persons with complex needs, increasing use of 811 and 911 in emergencies, and funding for quality care. They especially depend upon the dedication and hard work of health-care providers. It has not greatly relied on private-sector options to make it work.

In our view, this initiative could be even stronger if the government ended the role of private for-profit services. Instead, we think it should work to replace them with public-sector solutions. Private-sector for-profit services do not cause “the sky to fall,” but they do serve to undermine and take needed resources away from the public system.

The recently revised Health Services and Insurance Act released this summer could also greatly help to strengthen public health care. We hope it will entrench the principles of the Canada Health Act in the body of the proposed new act.


Lee Seymour, Chairperson, Nova Scotia Citizens Health Care Network