Communities across B.C are joining National Medicare Day on May 15 by holding town hall meetings, rallying outside hospitals and politicians’ offices and encircling the B.C. legislature in ribbon.
The theme of the day - A Call to Care: Patients not Profits reflects the growing awareness that the spread of for-profit health care threatens patients and will destroy Medicare.
National Medicare Day takes on a special meaning in British Columbia where the provincial government has recently announced the closures of hospitals and long-term care facilities, health care privatization and the lay-off of thousands of front-line health workers.
Activities nation-wide are being coordinated by the Canadian Health Coalition and the Canadian Labour Congress and include events at most provincial legislatures. In this province, seniors, labour and community groups along with the B.C. Health Coalition are marking National Medicare Day in several communities.
The following events are confirmed for Wednesday, May 15:
“Seniors Fight for Medicare” is the theme of a public meeting beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the 411 Seniors’ Centre located at 411 Dunsmuir.
Seniors’ street theatre and speakers are featured at a Medicare rally starting at noon in Cathedral Park, next to 411 Seniors’ Centre.
“Wrap the legislature” in Medicare ribbon at noon at the B.C. legislature.
A Medicare rally happens at noon at the Government Building, 310 Ward St followed at 12:45 p.m. with a walk to MLA Blair Suffredine’s office at 540 Baker Street.
A Town Hall Meeting to support Kootenay Lake Regional Hospital happens at 7:00 p.m. at the Civic (Hockey) Arena.
A Town Hall meeting on health care and the closure of Castlegar’s hospital is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Castlegar Recreational Complex
Medicare advocates rally at noon outside MLA Mike Hunter’s office located at 335 Wesley Street.
- Prince George:
Prince George Regional Hospital wrapped with Medicare ribbon at noon.
A public forum - “Health Care Reforms - What do They Mean to You” - happens at 7:30 p.m., St. Michael’s Parish Hall, 608 Sutherland Ave at Richter.
In addition to these events, Medicare advocates are distributing post cards to Prime Minister Chrt0069en outlining the main demands on National Medicare Day: a halt to privatization; increased health care funding; an expansion of Medicare to include home care and a national drug plan; and protection of health care from international trade agreements.
Mike Old B.C. Health Coalition, 604-828-6771.
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