Medicare in Canada is being put on trial. Dr Brian Day, a for-profit clinic owner, has launched a lawsuit against the B.C. Ministry of Health which is ongoing at the province’s Supreme Court. While this case is provincial, the ruling will have national implications for Canada's universal, public health care system.
Michael Butler's blog
Today, “The Council of Canadians organized a rally outside the Law Courts, which featured health care practitioners and researchers, as well as leaders from trade unions and civil society.”As Brian Day, who is known to many as ‘Dr. Profit’, attempts to land the knock-out punch to medicare, we were on hand to raise awareness and let court know we won’t stand by quietly as profit is patients.
Yesterday was the first meeting of the Commons Standing Committee on Health to study how Canada might create a national pharmacare program. First recommended in a the1964 Royal Commission on Health Services, Canada remains, “the only country in the world with a medicare system that excludes prescription drugs as if they are not part of the health-care system.”
This week Council of Canadians representatives joined over 140 health care advocates from across Canada meeting with MPs new and old. Incredibly, over 130 MPs on parliament hill we met with during the lobby to protect, strengthen and expand our universal public health care.
Last week the federal health minister met with her provincial counterparts to discuss the future of medicare. The Council of Canadians joined other health allies at the meeting and shared our priorities with the ministers at the meeting.
On behalf of the Council of Canadians, please allow me to congratulate you on your appointment as Canada’s new Minister of Health. We look forward to working with you to strengthen our public health care system and to take advantage of this important opportunity to build a more equitable medicare system in Canada.
The news yesterday that the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations have concluded is one that should worry Canadians, especially in regards to the relationship between intellectual property rights (IP) and pharmaceuticals (the text of the TPP includes 29 chapters, only five of which are about trade).
Last week, the Council of Canadians and CUPE Saskatchewan conducted a five city tour to raise awareness about the increasing privatization of public health care in the province. Sadly, we are seeing, “increased creeping privatization" in the heartland of medicare. Brad Wall has been behind backdoor cuts and policy and legislative changes. The founding principle of medicare – need and universality– is being eroded.
The 2015 election campaign is well underway and the airwaves are fully saturated with political messages. Yet, of particular concern there seems to be a conspicuous absence of any talk regarding Canadian health care and the devastation caused to the system over the past 9 years of Conservative rule. In the only debate so far with all the national leaders, healthcare was given a passing mention only 3 times. At the same time, a recent poll highlighted that 73% of Canadian voters feel ‘fixing healthcare’ is an absolutely crucial policy plank for parties to address to win their vote.
It’s a sad day for health care in British Columbia as Doctor Profit (Brian Day) was elected president of the Doctors of B.C. When the ballots were counted up, Dr Day won by a single vote (Dr. Alan Ruddiman, a rural family physician in Oliver, garnered just one vote less — 945 — and Dr. Lloyd Oppel, an emergency medicine physician at the University of BC Hospital, got 285 votes).