BC Health Coalition

BC Health Coalition

September 23, 2011 08:00 ET

UBCM 2011: City Councils Call for Government Action to Stop For-Profit Health Care

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 23, 2011) - A resolution* calling for immediate government action to prevent the growth of for-profit medical clinics is on the agenda at next week's Union of BC Municipalities Convention (UBCM) in Vancouver.

"Little matters more to individuals than good health, and the people of B.C. have been clear in poll after poll that access to an equitable and efficient public health care system is a fundamental value to the people of this province, and to all Canadians," says Victoria City Councillor Philippe Lucas.

The resolution, sponsored by the City of Victoria, calls on the UBCM to request that the province take immediate measures to protect public health care by establishing a moratorium on the expansion and funding of private, for-profit surgical and diagnostic clinics and instead promote publicly funded and administered outpatient facilities.

"I am supporting this resolution because I think that Medicare is one of our most valued social programs and as stewards of our communities, municipalities and the UBCM have a responsibility to protect public health care services on behalf of our residents," says White Rock City Councillor Lynne Sinclair.

Municipalities around the province have heard from hundreds of citizens who have sent email messages asking their local Mayors and Councils to support the resolution through an online campaign coordinated by the BC Health Coalition.

"Health Minister de Jong must take a leadership role in protecting British Columbians from private investors and insurance companies who are charging illegal user fees and billing patients for health services already covered by Medicare," said BCHC Co-chair Rachel Tutte.

The resolution comes at the same time as the Medical Services Commission is completing an audit of the for-profit Cambie Surgery Centre, the largest for-profit clinic in B.C. and leader of a legal attack on B.C.'s Medicare laws that protect patients from being charged user fees for publicly insured, medically necessary health care.

*The full text of Resolution B159 can be downloaded from: http://bitURL.net/b6ap

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