BC Health Coalition

BC Health Coalition

July 22, 2011 09:48 ET

Health Advocates to Premiers: Show Leadership for Universal Public Health Care

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 22, 2011) - Public health care supporters are urging premiers to unite in pushing Ottawa to agree to a full and pan-Canadian renegotiation of the First Ministers' Accord on Health Care Renewal.

"The provincial and territorial premiers have an opportunity here to ensure continuing federal commitments to Medicare and to demand a fair 2014 Health Accord that respects the fundamental principles of the Canada Health Act," says Adam Lynes-Ford, BC Health Coalition Medicare Campaigner.

Negotiations for a new Health Accord present a valuable opportunity to promote national standards for health care, and to strengthen the system by addressing current gaps in coverage and accessibility.

"We need to expand universal public health care to include a national pharmacare program and national home and community care legislation that will allow seniors and people with disabilities to live with dignity and respect," says Lynes-Ford, noting that these programs will address rising health care costs.

"The real driver of health care spending increases comes from for-profit health services not covered by Medicare," he says. "We know public health care is affordable. It's for-profit care that we can't afford."

The federal-provincial agreement that provides federal funds to provinces and territories expires in 2014. The premiers are discussing health care today at the Council of Federation meeting in Vancouver.

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