Commission on Justice and Peace Document Archives

Executive Summary

The Ecumenical Health Care Network convened a special Forum on the Future of Health Care in Canada on Parliament Hill on February 28, 2002. Over 100 religious leaders, church based health care providers and professionals, as well as politicians and representatives from community and labour organizations attended.

The Forum focused on the values and visions for the future of health care. Participants agreed Canada’s system needs to be preserved and strengthened based upon a vision of social justice. They concluded that Canada’s health care system is not in crisis, that for profit delivery mechanisms are too expensive and exclude people, and that the system could be improved by primary care reform. Among the recommendations were calls for a parallel Health Act that would expand the system to provide pharmacare, improved home care, palliative care and hospice services without having to reopen the Canada health Act. The Forum also recommended a health charter or covenant which is appended to this report.

Concern was expressed that political leaders were losing credibility for their lack of action to support health care. There was a fear that the voices of “interest groups” that would profit from further privatization were more influential to policy makers than the needs of average people. The question that must be asked about any reforms is, “Who benefits?” For their part, churches agreed to undertake a national wide series of workshops to help their members contribute to the debate about the future of health care.

File Type: pdf
Categories: English, Healthcare
Tags: Canada Health Act, health policy, healthcare, public health
Author: The Ecumenical Health Care Network of The Canadian Council of Churches