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Silnicki speaks against private health care in Nova Scotia

Photo by Tony Tracy.

Photo by Tony Tracy.

Global News reports, “The debate over private and public healthcare is intensifying in Nova Scotia, especially in the wake of a decision to regulate the private healthcare industry. The Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons recently made a move to regulate the industry, a decision that is being decried by community organizations.”

“Adrienne Silnicki, a national healthcare campaigner for the Council of Canadians, said she is concerned about the move. ‘We’re worried that opens up the province to more private clinics. We really want to keep healthcare absolutely accessible to everyone’, she said.”

“[But] the move towards regulation is being welcomed by the general manager of Scotia Surgery, a private clinic in Dartmouth. …Scotia Surgery started eight years ago, and [Bob] Cyr said he rejects the idea that private clinics provide patients with substandard care.”

In March 2013, Silnicki and James Hutt of the Nova Scotia Citizen’s Health Care Network commented, “It is disappointing that [then] Health Minister Dave Wilson has chosen to renew a government contract with Scotia Surgery. The contract, worth $1 million to the for-profit clinic to perform 500 surgeries per year, raises a lot of unanswered questions. Beyond the questionable ethics of making medically necessary care a for-profit business, one has to ask if renewing the contract, intended to reduce wait lists, is an efficient use of the public’s health care dollars. Given the poor track record of private-public partnerships in Canada, intense scrutiny and broad public consultation are warranted.”

Today’s article notes, “Nova Scotia’s Minister of Health Leo Glavine [says] work on legislation will begin in the fall and will involve looking at legislation drafted by other provinces that are also regulating private clinics.” It was also Glavine who in April pushed the passage of Bill 37, essential services legislation that restricts the right of healthcare workers from striking.

To read Adrienne Silnicki’s blogs please click here, for more on our health care campaign click here.

Photo: Nova Scotia Health Minister Leo Glavine.