Unifor calls on governments to stop proliferation of health care user-fees

TORONTO, June 12, 2017 /CNW/ - Unifor is calling on the federal and provincial governments to put a halt to the practice by clinics of charging user-fees for necessary health services, as found in a ground-breaking new report by the Ontario Health Coalition.

"Health care should never be a money-making venture," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "The growth in private clinics is undermining universal accessible health care. Governments should not be so naïve to believe that the two can co-exist, without destroying our cherished public health care system."

The report, "Private Clinics and the Threat to Public Medicare in Canada," includes the results of a survey of approximately 400 individual patients and 136 private hospital, diagnostic and boutique physician clinics across Canada. In this damning report, the health coalition found evidence that at least 88 clinics in six provinces have been charging patients extra user-fees.

"We expect our governments to uphold the law and defend our right to accessible medical care, where cost is not a barrier to treatment," said Unifor Health Care Director Andy Savela.

Savela said governments must move quickly to enforce the Canada Health Act, which prohibits charging user-fees for care.

Unifor is a member organization of the Ontario Health Coalition, the Canadian Health Coalition and the other provincial health coalitions.

It is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including approximately 30,000 health care workers. Unifor was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.

SOURCE Unifor

For further information: Shannon Devine, Unifor Communications Representative, Shannon.devine@unifor.org or 416-302-1699


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