During the health care lobby this week, Council of Canadians health care campaigner Mike Butler met MP Andrew Cash along with the Ontario Nurses Association and health justice activist Dr. Ritika Goel.
In July 2012, pro-private health care physician Dr. Brian Day launched a court challenge in British Columbia using Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedom. He contends that our public health care system is infringing on a person’s security, right to life and liberty when there is a wait time. Day argues that if you have the money, you should have the right to buy your way to the front of the line.
We couldn’t disagree more.
The case was to be heard by the BC Supreme Court this past September, but in late August it was announced that the trial would be postponed until likely March 2015. Now the Alberta-based Friends of Medicare coalition has tweeted, “Dr. Day seeking a settlement instead of continuing with the case is a small win in a much larger war.”
They were quoting Colleen M. Flood who spoke at a public forum in Ottawa last night titled Using the Charter to Privatize Medicare: Truth or Dare?. Flood is a University of Ottawa professor of law, a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, the author of six books, and the co-editor of the book The Right to Health at the Public/Private Divide: A Global Comparative Study.
In late September, Council of Canadians health care campaigner Michael Butler commented, “As the province is currently negotiating a settlement with Cambie Surgery Corporation owner Dr. Brian Day, the outcome of this negotiation will determine the future of medicare in B.C. and will send a clear message to patients about whether or not they should receive equal care to those who pay their way to the front the of line. We have a right to demand that our public health care system is protected and that everyone in Canada has the ability to access equitable, timely, quality care.”
We’ll be watching closely for the outcome of this settlement.
In terms of our overall health care campaign, this week we participated in the Canadian Health Coalition’s #CHCLobby2014 of Members of Parliament in Ottawa. This coming week, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will be speaking alongside CUPE president Paul Moist at public forums in St. John’s (on December 1) and Corner Brook (on December 2). And on November 29, Butler is organizing a public health care education workshop in St. John’s to build capacity to talk door-to-door about why we need to make public health care an election issue.
For more on the Council of Canadians campaign to defend and expand public health care, please click here.
Council of Canadians supporters take to the streets in Vancouver to explain how for-profit private clinics hurt all of us (October 2014 blog by Michael Butler)
Dr. Day court challenge likely postponed to March 2015 (September 2014 blog)