healthcare sector / secteur santéAggressive strategies must be put forward to confront threats to public health care. That’s the conclusion of more than 300 delegates from CUPE’s health sector during their meeting Sunday, at the CUPE National Convention.

Three guest speakers addressed the members on this particular issue.

Adam Lynes-Ford, from the British Columbia Health Coalition, reported on the legal challenge undertaken by Dr. Brian Day against the public system, a legal challenge that could fully open the door to privatization.

Melissa Newitt, from the Canadian Health Coalition, talked about the political context after the federal election.  According to Newitt, the federal Liberal promised to sign a new health accord. But there are many shortcomings to their plan, especially on the details and schedule.

Finally, Jennifer Whiteside, from the BC Hospital Employees’ Union spoke about the adverse effect of privatization on health services and staffing, and presented some fight-back strategies.

Delegates from the health sector prioritized the resolutions that will be debated at Convention. They are looking to CUPE to devote resources to an extensive campaign to protect, strengthen and improve public health care and to obtain a new health accord.

Another important resolution demands a national long-term care strategy.  Finally, one resolution aims to establish pilot projects for campaigning, in close collaboration with local residents, to improve the quality of services.