Supreme Court Show-down: For-profit clinics vs Medicare

medicare privatizationRight now, there’s a legal challenge in motion that could erase the principle of Canadian Medicare, as we know it – a health care system based on need, not on ability to pay as in the US.

Dr. Brian Day, owner of Vancouver’s for-profit Cambie Surgery Centre and a leading proponent of privatized health care, has launched a constitutional challenge to Medicare law in BC. This challenge aims to strike down provincial health legislation that limits the for-profit delivery of medically necessary services.

Although this case is being heard in BC, it’s very likely it will be appealed and end up in the Supreme Court of Canada. This could produce the defining Charter interpretation that would apply across the country – and be one that destroys equal access to our health care system.

The case is being called the most significant constitutional challenge in Canadian history. The trial date is now set for September 2014.

The BC Health Coalition and Canadian Doctors for Medicare are interveners in this case. This means that they are able to fight for Medicare in the Dr. Day court case by calling on experts to provide evidence in support of our public health care system.

At their June 19 AGM – 7:00 pm in the Rotary Room of the Filberg Centre, the Comox Valley Council of Canadians presents Pat Savage of the BC Health Coalition who will speak on this significant legal challenge to Medicare. The public is encouraged to attend this informative session, which will bring to light all that’s at stake with this case. It will highlight the importance of speaking out together to support Medicare.

Canadians are at risk of losing Medicare as we know it.

Expensive private insurance will become the new norm. In the United States the average family pays $16,000 a year for health coverage and most bankruptcies there are due to unpaid medical bills. We don’t want to see such a system in Canada where ordinary Canadians risk losing their homes or going deep into debt because of sickness or injury.

Public wait times will become longer as doctors and nurses are lured from the public system to the for-profit system.

Poll after poll shows that the public favours investment and innovation in public health care to improve the system for everyone. The expansion of for-profit health care benefits only a very wealthy elite – not ordinary Canadians.

The Comox Valley Council of Canadians invites you to find out more about this critical battle for Medicare, the current campaign and urgent issues being addressed in the fight to protect public health care in court.

Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting, Thursday, June 19 at 7:00 pm in the Rotary Room of the Florence Filberg Centre.
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