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Regina: The CUPE Health Care Council is pleased with the overall direction outlined in the Saskatchewan governments new action plan for health care, but it wants further discussion on several key areas where it says the government is off-course.

In its report released today, Saskatchewan: Healthy People. A Healthy Province, the provincial government re-states its commitment to a public system of health care delivery, stating its the best and most cost-effective option.

CUPE Health Care President Steve Foley likes the governments proposal to establish primary health care networks (with salaried physicians) and reorganize hospital services, stating it will strengthen and improve our public health care system.

However, he says the governments decision to lift the 40-bed limit on private personal care homes, allow private ambulance companies to continue to profit off of medicare, and provide an individualized funding option in home care are way-off course.

Although the government claims it has chosen a public road for heath care delivery, its action plan has swerved off the road and hit the ditch in several key areas. he says.

In briefings with CUPE and other unions about the report, Health Minister Nilson promised to hold additional meetings with the unions to discuss these concerns.

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For further information please contact Steve Foley at 546-2185

or Andrew Huculak at 525-5874