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Amendments announced Wednesday by tent to its legislation allowing private hospitals only makes the legislation worse. The revised bill will enable the government to provide private hospitals with work simply by de-listing insured services in back rooms fare from the glare of legislative debate.

“When the minister says he’ll only allow private hospitals to do uninsured procedures, he must think Albertans either are nanve or were out of the province for the last four years,” said CUPE Alberta president Terry Mutton. “One of this government’s first acts after the 1994 election was to de-insure a number of services. If Bill 37 passes, then the government will quietly and without public debate, gradually delist more services.”

CUPE polls show that Albertans know that private hospitals sound the death knell of private Medicare. A majority of Albertans also expect doctors to be lured away into the private system by big dollars. “Drawing off more doctors will simply put the public system into further crisis,” said Mutton.