Court challenge to health-care privatization in Quebec
Lawsuit contends Bill 33 undermines medicare.
March 16, 2009 — A group of public-service unions will ask the courts today to overthrow Quebec's controversial private healthcare law, which they claim is undermining the public system by depriving it of resources.
The unions, representing nurses and other health-care workers, contend that Bill 33 would allow private surgical clinics to flourish at the expense of the public medicare system.
Union representatives met with Health Minister Yves Bolduc last Monday, but said they were unable to persuade him to make changes to the law.
"The minister did not give us sufficient guarantees that he would place limits on the privatization of the health system," said Dominique Verreault, spokesperson for the Secretariat intersyndical des services publics.
"The concerns we expressed to the minister about the regulations on (private) specialized medical treatments . . . were not eased at all."
Bill 33, adopted in 2006, would permit the creation of private surgical clinics, called specialized medical centres. It would also regulate more than 50 types of surgery — from hysterectomies to hernia repairs — performed in private clinics. . .
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Health-care unions go to court to challenge privatization, by Aaron Derfel, The Montreal Gazette, March 16 2009
Posted: March 18, 2009
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