Commission on Justice and Peace Document Archives

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

We are very concerned that almost one month after the Government of Alberta announced its 10 point proposal for “Health Care Renewal” your government has not stated unequivocally your intention to defend and enforce the Canada Health Act.

One of the Alberta proposals for renewal would allow physicians to work in both the public and private health care systems at the same time. This would clearly be a violation of the Canada Health Act.

A reason given for the changes is to improve choice and access. That would only be the case for those persons able to pay out of pocket or buy insurance. Clearly this would not be just or equitable.

Furthermore there is a shortage of doctors and nurses in Canada. The Alberta proposals would mean less of these scarce resources in the public system and, if affluent Alberta draws them from other provinces, less in the poorer regions of this nation.

Improving long term sustainability of the health care system has been given as another reason for the proposed changes. However in countries where private spending is high the total cost of health services is higher not less. The United States spends more public dollars per person than Canada does but still leaves millions with no coverage.

File Type: pdf
Categories: English, Healthcare
Tags: health policy, healthcare, public health
Author: Co-Chair of the Ecumenical Health Care Network (Jim Marshall), Co-chair of the Ecumenical Health Care Network (Linda Nichols)