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Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd at the Manitoba division convention, National President Judy Darcy criticized a Senate report that promotes further reliance on for-profit health care.

Step by step Senator Kirby is trying to box us in,” says Darcy. “Rather than identify ways to strengthen public health care, he’s pushing market medicine, trying to open up more of our health care system to for-profit delivery. Well we say it’s time to think outside the box.”

Among its recommendations, the Kirby committee rejects a ban on private, for-profit health care facilities. As well, the committee’s recommendations present significant barriers to expanding and improving public health care to include national home care, long term care and a national drug plan.

Canadians have been clear. We want a public health care system that is accessible. We want a health care system that deals with the full range of our health care needs. And we want to ensure our health care dollars are going into patient care and not corporate profits or unnecessary bureaucracy,” says Darcy.

Our health care system isn’t intended to promote business opportunities for insurance companies and American-style HMOs,” says Darcy. “Public health care is supposed to promote public health. Introducing for-profit services takes us in the other direction. And we have no intention of going down that road.”