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OTTAWA – Today’s election of Dr. Brian Day as Canadian Medical Association president signals an increased CMA push for the privatization of Canada’s public health care system, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

We respect the CMA’s election process and congratulate Dr. Day,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist. “But we are concerned that his promotion of private health care and the CMA’s ongoing push for for-profit medicine will undermine medicare.”

Our concern is for the welfare of our members and the vitality of the health care system for all Canadians,” Moist added. “Dr. Day has been a vociferous advocate of a privatized health care system and the contracting out of health care workers.

The only time hospital wait times have gone down is when governments have provided the resources the public system needs to function properly” he said. “Cut back the public system, deny it the ability to handle patients’ needs, and wait times go up.”

CUPE has been a staunch defender of a public health care system. The country’s largest union, representing 150,000 health care workers in Canada, has watched with deepening concern as the CMA endorses more privatization and contracting out.

Their decision to consider public-private partnerships and contracting out is appalling since it has been shown in study after study to cost more in the long run, and leads to a decline in the standard of health care.”

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Contact: Paul Moist, National President, 613-558-2873; Claude Genereux, National Secretary-Treasurer (porte-parole francophone), (514) 884-5074; Dan David, CUPE Communications, 613-237-1590.