Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
The BC government is pushing a plan to privatize thousands of surgeries, in a dangerous move that could spread across the province and the country. The Campbell government is backing the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority move to contract out hundreds of procedures, from hysterectomies and mastectomies to pacemaker implants, joint surgeries and toe amputations.

As the health authority was calling for interested corporations to bid on the surgeries, a much-touted example of contracted-out surgeries was collapsing. News reports indicate a for-profit clinic performing eye surgeries for the health authority saw its contract end in March. The clinic is now facing allegations of queue-jumping and has reportedly been seized by bailiffs.

CUPEs Hospital Employees Union blew the whistle on the contracting out, and has been working with the provincial health coalition to oppose the scheme. The plan provides fresh evidence for CUPEs case against the federal government. CUPE recently filed expert testimony about health privatization in support of its legal challenge to force the federal government to uphold the Canada Health Act.

Contracting out surgeries could also trigger international rules. Under trade deals like NAFTA, the BC experiment could jump across provincial borders as corporations use the deals rules to pry open public health care from coast to coast.

Visit CUPEs online action centre at http://cupe.ca/ to send a message to federal health minister Anne McLellan, telling her to intervene to stop the privatization madness in BC.