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The deal reached by first ministers Monday provides $19 billion for health care over the next five years, but says nothing about stopping privatization.

Were pleased the federal government has promised to restore some of the funding it cut from the system, said National President Judy Darcy. But were disturbed theres nothing in the agreement that guarantees the money wont be used to expand private health care.

Weve seen in Ontario and Alberta the growth of for-profit medicine and weve seen first hand the waste and the problems that arise when scarce health dollars are siphoned off into corporate profits, said Darcy.

The action plan adopted by the first ministers sets no specific targets or objectives for expanding Medicare. Already some of the smaller provinces had expressed doubts they can continue to provide quality services.

The federal government has backed down completely, said Darcy. Instead of leadership on home care or prescription drugs or primary care reform, what we have is a blank cheque for the premiers who want to privatize health care.

The first ministers may call this a framework agreement but if the health ministers dont meet soon to put a roof and some walls on this structure, all Canadians are going to be left out in the cold, said Darcy.

CUPE will be working over the coming weeks to contact health care ministers in advance of their upcoming meeting and urge them to take immediate action to invest the new health care dollars where it will do most good expanding public delivery of quality care.

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