CHC launches national campaign to save public health care: President of medical association misleading Canadians about private, for-profit health care: McBane

    OTTAWA, April 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadians are being misled by the
President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) about the threat of
privatized, for-profit health care, said Michael McBane, National Coordinator
for the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC).
    At the kickoff of a national campaign to save public health care, Mr.
McBane charged that Dr. Robert Ouellet, President of the CMA, is presenting a
false picture of European health care that could mislead Canadians about the
threat to public health care posed by private, for-profit services.
    "Dr. Ouellet, who is also the owner of a private for-profit health
company, knows that Canadians reject American-style two-tier medicine for this
country. So he is cherry-picking bits and pieces of information from different
European systems to lull Canadians into accepting the idea of more privatized,
for-profit services," said Mr. McBane. "Dr. Ouellet's vision of health care is
'pay more and get less.'"
    McBane was speaking in Moncton, New Brunswick, at the launch of the
Canadian Health Coalition's campaign to save public health care. The national
campaign will travel to communities throughout New Brunswick, and all across
Canada to hold town hall meetings on the threat of privatized for-profit
services. A new interactive website will encourage Canadians to get involved
in the fight to save public health care.
    "We chose to launch this campaign in New Brunswick because it is a
province teetering on the brink of privatizing," said Mr. McBane. "Health
Minister Mike Murphy is looking at ways to introduce privatized for-profit
services here in New Brunswick. Today we're challenging him to meet with us
and to make a public promise to keep the province's health care public."
    Mr. McBane pointed out that Dr. Ouellet is promoting a so-called
"European model" of private/public services that doesn't exist. "There isn't
any one system in Europe. Each country has different benefits and problems,"
said McBane. "Dr. Ouellet's privatized, for-profit vision won't solve a single
problem of our public health care."
    Canadians have consistently said they want improvements to public health
care, not a two-tier for-profit system, said Mr. McBane. "We are already
finding unique Canadian solutions to the problems in public health care."
    Dr. Michael Rachlis, a leading expert on the Canadian health care system,
was at the launch together with Linda Silas, RN, President of the Canadian
Federation of Nurses Unions. They offered to meet with New Brunswick's Health
Minister to present public, Made-in-Canada solutions that maintain the
principles of public, universally accessible quality health care. Following
the launch, the team made presentations at two town hall meetings in New
Brunswick. Dr. Saideh Khadir, president of Quebec Doctors for Medicare, joined
the slate of presenters at the Bathurst town hall.

    The Canadian Health Coalition is a not-for-profit, non-partisan
organization dedicated to protecting and expanding Canada's public health
system for the benefit of all Canadians. It includes organizations
representing seniors, women, churches, nurses, health care workers and
anti-poverty activists from across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Michael McBane, National Coordinator, Canadian
Health Coalition, (613) 277-6295

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Canadian Health Coalition

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