Public Values

This fall, vote for medicare

Harper government not collecting needed data nor enforcing rules.

This fall, vote for medicareby CUPE

September 11, 2008 — As new poll results spell out key election issues, health care is emerging as a top-drawer concern among Canadians. And so it should. Every day, we are bombarded with stories of waiting lists and hospital-borne infections while ads for high-priced private clinics pepper the yellow pages.

The question is: what is our next government prepared to do about it?

If Stephen Harper's current leadership is any indication, the answer is nothing. The spread of private health care is worse under Harper than under any other government.

One of the federal government's primary health care responsibilities is to distribute and monitor billions of tax dollars to the provinces for health care. Under the Canada Health Act, the federal government is responsible for overseeing the collection of information on each province's spending activity.

Monitoring under the Canada Health Act would hold provinces accountable for violations of medicare rights. The only problem is that the Harper government doesn't care to enforce it. As a result, the government gets incomplete information on how provinces are spending federal health care money.

The Harper government's failure to enforce the act might have something to do with the for-profit, private clinics springing up across Canada. The rate of new clinics has likely doubled over the last four years. We wouldn't know, though, because the federal government refuses to collect that data.

What we do know, is that a number of alarming trends in health care are rapidly eroding our equitable, single-tier medicare system...

Privatization vs. Public Values Frame
  Market-driven health care / Universal access, planning, oversight

Links and sources
  This fall, vote for medicare, posted on CUPE.ca, September 11, 2008

Posted: September 11, 2008

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