OTTAWA, Feb. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's nurses and hospital workers have
teamed up to launch a Know your Medicare Rights campaign. "Anywhere in Canada,
medically necessary services, whether at a doctor's office, a hospital, a
surgical centre or a diagnostic clinic, is 100% paid for by government,"
explained Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
(CFNU). "This right is protected under the Canada Health Act and under
provincial legislation," she added.
"Despite the protections provided for by the Canada Health Act - we know
that patients sometimes get charged for medically necessary care. This
practise is both morally wrong and illegal," said Paul Moist, national
president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
The groups have launched a website www.yourmedicarerights.ca, and
produced a pamphlet as part of the campaign to inform the public of their
"The Canada Health Act sets out the framework for Canada's medicare
system. To qualify for federal funding under the Act, each province and
territory must meet the following criteria - public administration,
universality, comprehensiveness, accessibility, and portability," Silas added.
"In addition to our protections as set out under the Canada Health Act,"
said Moist, "many provinces have laws making it illegal to extra-bill, charge
user fees, or in other ways undermine access to health care. These laws only
work if they are enforced and the Harper government by not enforcing the act
is undermining medicare."
"Our fight against private payment for medically necessary care is part
of a bigger fight for non-profit, high quality health care available to all,"
Together, CUPE and CFNU represent 700,000 workers across Canada.
For further information:
For further information: Paul Moist, CUPE national president, (613)
558-2873 (cell); Linda Silas, CFNU president, (613) 859-4314 (cell); Catherine
Louli, CUPE communications, (613) 851-0547 (cell)