Charter Challenge Resumes Monday That Seeks to Overturn Medicare Protections

A Charter challenge that could very well affect how health care is delivered in Canada resumes in British Columbia April 9.

A coalition of health care practitioners and concerned Canadians are working hard to defend Canada’s heath care system from this attack.

Pauline Worsfold, RN and Chair of the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) and James Hutt, Interim National Director of Policy and Advocacy of the CHC are available to provide detail and expert commentary on this important case. The CHC has been keeping a keen eye on this case and is working closely with the BC intervenors to defend our Medicare system.

“Make no mistake. This case is about profit. Profit for doctors, profit for private clinics, and profit for insurance companies,” says James Hutt. “If Dr. Day has his way, Canadian health care will be transformed from a system where care is based on need to one where care is based on ability to pay,” she said.

Dr. Brian Day, CEO of a for-profit surgery clinic, is challenging the ban on extra billing and the use of private insurance for publicly insured services under the Charter. Because these protections strike at the heart of the Canada Health Act, it is expected this will end up in the Supreme Court of Canada.

“All Canadians should be concerned. While this case is about individual rights, we could end up with a health care system that benefits only one group — the wealthy and move from a universal public system to a two-tier, US style system,” said Pauline Worsfold, RN. “Evidence from south of the border and around the world shows two-tier health care is more expensive and inefficient. Wait lists become longer and precious health care resources are lost to the private system,” she added.

The CHC is a public advocacy organization dedicated to the preservation and improvement of public health care in Canada. It is comprised of national organizations representing health care workers, nurses, seniors, churches, anti-poverty groups, women and trade unions, as well as affiliated coalitions in 9 provinces and 1 territory.

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Contact: Pam Beattie (289) 828-5251 (cell), pam@beattieconsulting.ca

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