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Union FOI shows that health services ministry is “all sizzle and no steak” on major health care initiative

A series of government ads released yesterday won’t close the Campbell Liberals’ credibility gap on health care, says B.C.’s largest health care union. And the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) questions Health Services Minister Colin Hansen’s claim that the ads are designed to counter misinformation after a union request for research on a key government health initiative indicates that his own ministry hasn’t done its homework.

“When it comes to health care reform, this is a government that shoots first and asks questions later,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “And no amount of government advertising will convince British Columbians that they have a plan to improve health care for patients and seniors.

“The facts are quite clear: hospitals have closed, seniors’ care is in chaos and skilled and experienced health care workers are losing their jobs as a result of program cuts and privatization.”

Allnutt says it’s hypocritical for the government to launch a health ad campaign to correct “misinformation” when a union freedom of information request to Hansen’s ministry for research, impact studies or other backup failed to turn up any factual information to support the government’s wholesale privatization of health services.

Earlier this month, the ministry indicated that it had only 55-pages of documents related to government plans to privatize $700 million in health services and it provided the union with two of these pages.

“On the question of health reform, the Campbell Liberals are all sizzle and no steak,” says Allnutt. “No amount of advertising will change that.”


Mike Old, communications officer, 604-828-6771 (cell)