Public Values

Health coalition lobbies to strengthen the Health Accord

With future of medicare on the line, hundreds converge in Ottawa.

McBane says the statement articulates a common vision for the future of health care in Canada.with Straight Goods News video

A TOP PUBLICVALUES.CA STORY FROM 2011 — OTTAWA, ON, December 2011: Hundreds of citizen activists from across Canada convened on Parliament Hill this month to lobby MPs for a stronger Health Accord in an effort organized by the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC). The conference featured two panels and a keynote address by Roy Romanow, Chair of the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada.

Hundreds of individuals and organizations attending "Secure the future of Medicare" signed a Call to care statement launched by the coalition. In an email to supporters after the event, CHC National Coordinator Michael McBane wrote that the statement "articulates a common vision for the future of health care in Canada", encouraging organizations to endorse the statement.

Panel 1 — Threats to Medicare: Failed experiments and myths

Call to care statement

Health care in Canada is a fundamental right without distinction of race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, political belief, immigration status, and economic or social condition. Organizations representing millions of Canadians will mobilize to defend this right and to ensure that the following principles shape the direction of the Health Accord renewal:

1. The recognition of the highest attainment of health as a fundamental right throughout life and the necessity of preserving public health through active measures of promotion, prevention, and protection including such determinants as housing, food safety, income, education, environment, employment and peace.

2. The recognition that many Aboriginal people have a poor health status and a high burden of disease. The current system is failing and requires a transformation of the relationship between Canada and its Aboriginal people to find solutions together. The Aboriginal people must be at the First Ministers discussions on the Health Accord as these solutions involve all levels of government.

3. The recognition of health care as a public good for which no financial barriers must be erected. We affirm the need for a system of public health care which is organized on the basis of public administration, public insurance and the delivery of services on a public, not-for-profit basis.

4. Opposition to any commercialization and privatization of health care. Therefore the federal government must negotiate a general exclusion of health services and health insurance from all trade agreements.

5. The need for the federal government fully to assume its responsibilities in respect to health, particularly by securing the adequate and predictable federal health transfers and enforcement of the Canada Health Act.

6. The reaffirmation of the original vision of a truly comprehensive public health care system for Canadians providing a continuum of services. The next steps are the expansion of the public system to include a universal Pharmacare plan, a system of home and community care, long-term care, and a strategy for mental health.

7. The need to move towards a community-based, multi-disciplinary team approach to the management, organization and delivery of services, especially in primary care. Levels of services must be sufficient so that the burden of care does not fall on families, mainly women.

8. An accountable health care system through democratic participation and transparent governance at all levels.

9. The recognition that health care workers are critical to the effective operation of the health care system and that decent wages and working conditions are essential to high quality care.

We come together to commit to ensuring that governments throughout Canada renew their commitment to protect and expand Canada's public health care system to meet the present and future needs of all people living in Canada, based on the principles (public administration, universality, comprehensiveness, accessibility and portability) and conditions (no extra billing or user fees, or queue-jumping) of the Canada Health Act. Regardless of where we live, it is now imperative to reaffirm the social values we all share. These values must guide our collective choices for future of health care. What stands between Medicare and its destruction are the peoples of Canada. Future generations are depending on our vigilance.

Panel 2 — The way forward: Integrated and continuing care


•Canadian Health Coalition
•Alternatives North
•B.C. Health Coalition
•Canadian Doctors for Medicare
•Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
•Canadian Labour Congress
•Canadian Union of Public Employees
•Citizens for Public Justice
•Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents' Rights
•Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
•Congress of Union Retirees of Canada
•Council of Canadians
•Friends of Medicare Alberta
•Health Coalition of Newfoundland and Labrador
•Health for All
•Health Providers Against Poverty
•Inter Pares
•MacKillop Centre for Social Justice
•Manitoba Nurses Union
•Medical Reform Group
•Médecins québécois pour le régime public
•Mnaamodzawin Health Services
•National Pensioners and Senior Citizens Federation
•National Union of Public and General Employees
•New Brunswick Federation of Union Retirees
•New Brunswick Health Coalition
•New Brunswick Nurses Union
•Newfoundland & Labrador Nurses Union
•Nova Scotia Nurses' Union
•Ontario Health Coalition
•Ontario Nurses' Association
•Positive Living BC
•PEI Health Coalition
•Prince Edward Island Nurses' Union
•Public Health Social Justice Collective
•Public Service Alliance of Canada
•Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
•Saskatchewan Health Coalition
•Saskatchewan Union of Nurses
•Société des enseignantes et des enseignants retraités francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick
•Students for Medicare
•United Nurses of Alberta
•United Steelworkers

Related individuals, organizations and significant events
If your organization would like to sign on to this statement, please send your information to by December 31, 2011.

Links and sources
  Secure the future of Medicare: A call to care

Posted: December 15, 2011

  Health care
  Public services
  Front lines

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