Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

December 01, 2011 09:00 ET

Strengthening public health care must be focus of renewed Health Accord

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2011) - Strengthening the public health care system must be the primary focus of a renewed Health Accord, says Canada's largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees. CUPE is calling on the federal government to negotiate a new 10-year accord with the provinces and territories, with stable and adequate funding for public health care.

"Defending and improving our public health care system must be the primary goal of a renewed Health Accord," says Paul Moist, national president of CUPE. "Our public health care system is the best and most equitable way to ensure all Canadians get the health care they need and deserve."

CUPE represents over 190,000 public health care workers across Canada. In an effort to lend their expertise in public health care, CUPE frontline health sector members and staff joined the Canadian Health Coalition today on Parliament Hill for a series of meeting with MP's.

"We're not just here to identify problems: we've come to speak with MP's about practical and effective solutions," said Karen MacKenzie, a health care worker from Nova Scotia and co-chair of CUPE's National Health Care Issues Committee. "Our members are on the front lines of providing Canadians with quality public health care. We know first-hand health care isn't just a matter of costs - it's about making investments in people."

CUPE is urging MP's to support the Canadian public health care system, and to join CUPE members in finding ways to improve public health care.

"Privatization is not the solution to problems in our health care system," said Rose Streick, a health care worker and CUPE member from Manitoba. Streick met with her MP, Pat Martin, member for Winnipeg-Centre.

"We need to be promoting public sector solutions which focus on providing quality care for all Canadians, and not on ways to make more profits for multinational corporations," said Streick.

CUPE is advocating for a minimum six per cent escalator on funding in a renewed 10-year Health Accord. It is also calling for enforcement of the Canada Health Act - including bans on user fees and extra billings, a national strategy on reducing heath care associated infections, promotion of primary care reform with funding and regulations based on the community health care model, and the establishment of a national pharmacare program.

More on CUPE's solution for strengthening public health care and what should be part of a renewed 10-year Health Accord can be found at

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