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OTTAWA With the Romanow report now in, Canadians are looking to the prime minister for a clear commitment to action, says Canada’s largest health care union.

We have the roadmap. We have the vehicle. The question is do we have a driver? asks Judy Darcy, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Yesterday, Canadians were on Romanow watch. Today we start Chrt0069en watch, says Darcy. The prime minister doesn’t have much time to repair the damage his government has done to health care through budget cuts and neglect. We’re watching closely and counting the days.

Romanow’s report calls for an infusion of $8.5 billion over the next two years to expand public health care. His plan to reform primary care, expand home care including palliative and mental health care, shorten wait times, help fund provincial and territorial drug plans, and improve access in rural and remote areas is a good start. But the initial response from politicians has been mixed.

Canadians are sick and tired of bickering among politicians, says Darcy. The federal government plays hide-the-surplus while some provincial premiers channel precious health care dollars to their corporate friends. We’re saying enough. Let’s get on with it.

The frail elderly, Aboriginal communities, families facing skyrocketing drug costs, women living with the fear of breast cancer, health care workers we’ve had enough of the grandstanding and the chest-pounding. We want action on health care and we want it now.

In the days and weeks to come, CUPE members, their families and neighbours will be mobilizing across the country to put pressure on the federal and provincial governments to implement Romanow’s agenda for reform.

Romanow was very clear the solution to our health care problems lies not in privatizing but in strengthening and expanding public health care, says Darcy. The prime minister only has one chance to get this right. He’d better not blow it.

CUPE’s half-million members include 180,000 who work on the front line and behind the scenes in health care.


For more information, contact:

Robert Fox, CUPE Communications (613) 795-4977