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While federal and provincial governments dispute whats in the health accord they signed last week, it appears the only people pleased with the deal are the corporations that want to profit from health care.

The territories walked away from the deal. The provinces say theyre not satisfied. Patients and health care workers have good reason to worry. It seems the only people celebrating are the corporations who look to this deal to inject new cash to bolster their bottom line, says National President Judy Darcy.

The First Ministers ducked the two central demands of Canadians: greater accountability and a complete ban on for-profit services, says Darcy. It seems the federal government held a hard line on funding and caved completely on accountability. And its clear both levels of government were happy to duck the privatization question.

Its the gaping hole in the agreement, says Darcy. A hole large enough for Ralph Klein and Gordon Campbell and Ernie Eves and Bernard Lord to drive a truck through. In an eight-page accord, theres not a single mention of curbing the growth of for-profit services, yet the greatest threat to the sustainability of our health care system is growing profit-taking.

The agreement between the federal and provincial governments will increase federal spending to 16 per cent from 14 per cent of total spending. But that falls far short of the 25 per cent target that is needed to strengthen and modernize Medicare.

The areas targeted for expansion provide a huge opportunity for corporations to tap into an assured stream of public funding even though for-profit services cost more and increase health risks.

Diagnostic services, pharmaceuticals and home care are all seen by private companies as opportunities to make huge profits, says Darcy. And theres nothing in this accord that will prevent the privatizing premiers from taking the money and handing it over to their corporate cronies.