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Promoters of for-profit health care have found a key ally in Senator Michael Kirby, chair of a Senate committee on the future of Canadas health care system. In its interim report, the committee laid out a series of options for reform almost all of them relying on user fees and the corporate sector for solutions.

Senator Kirby has made it abundantly clear that he views the Canada Health Act as a barrier to effective health care reform, said National President Judy Darcy. He claims not to have a particular bias, yet his contempt for publicly-funded health care fairly drips off the pages of his report.

In releasing the report, Senator Kirby said that those who are steadfast in their support of public health care avoid the tough questions and skirt the controversial issues. Those who disagree with him are emotional, while he seeks a more rational debate.

If there werent so much at stake, it would almost be funny, said Judy Darcy. But what else would you expect from a Director of Extendicare, one of Canadas largest private home care providers?

CUPE supports reform to our health care system. But reform needs to improve quality and accessibility for all Canadians, not just a privileged few, concluded Darcy. Study after study has shown that where services are privatized, they are neither more efficient or cost effective. But Senator Kirby clearly sees privatization as the only path to change.