Canadian Health Coalition

Canada Health Act

The Issue:

Canadians are being kept in the dark about developments that threaten the integrity and viability of Medicare. Under the Canada Health Act (CHA), Health Canada has reporting obligations to Parliament and must monitor and enforce the five criteria and the two conditions of the Canada Health Act. But the Auditor General found that Health Canada’s annual report consistently fails to identify, let alone assess, significant privatization initiatives now underway (especially in Québec and Alberta). Private delivery of insured health services has CHA implications: it’s against the law for private health care providers to charge patients for medically necessary services, or allow them to jump the queue. The CHC has called on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health to conduct hearings on Health Canada’s deficiencies in Canada Health Act reporting, monitoring, and enforcement. In the meantime, Canadians are encouraged to report violations of the CHA to us, including queue jumping, illegal fees and charges for medically necessary care.

Resources:

Canada Health Act – Purpose and Requirements

Canada Health Act Annual Report: Parliament kept in the dark. No accountability or transparency on health funding  CHC Media Release, March 2010

Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper regarding his duty to uphold the Canada Health Act  Canadian Health Coalition, November 2009

Canada Health Act breaches ignored, groups charge  CMAJ, November 2009

Parliament kept in the dark as provinces sabotage Medicare  CHC Media Release, February 2008

Canada Health Act Annual Report: Missing Information and No Accountability  March 2007

Letter to Ralph Klein: Harper warns Alberta ‘Third Way’ scheme violates Canada Health Act (media coverage)  2006

Canada Health Act Annual Report: Keeping Parliament and Canadians in the Dark  CHC Media release, February 2005

Media:

Québec escapes health sanctions  Globe and Mail, February 2008

Québec escapes fines  Montreal Gazette, May 2006