OTTAWA – It’s no surprise that a right-wing think tank known for its love of the market would issue a report favouring more health care privatization, says the president of Canada’s largest union.
“What’s remarkable is how the Fraser Institute brazenly manipulates the numbers to show a so-called sustainability crisis,” says Paul Moist. “It’s simply absurd to take spending from the last five years and then extrapolate it over the next sixty years.”
The ‘study’ doesn’t consider the factors driving up provincial health care spending, including drug costs, which are by far the fastest growing area of provincial health spending.
“There’s no question we must address the financial future of public health care. But a real discussion will be wide-ranging and inclusive, not blinkered and selective,” says Moist.
It’s even more galling, says Moist, to see the Institute proposing policies that would dramatically drive up costs and create two classes of patients: those who can pay, and those who get in line. “It’s the Institute’s so-called solutions that would tip the system into an uncontrollable tailspin.”
The Institute argues current rates of provincial health spending are unsustainable, and calls for user fees, private health insurance, extra billing and privately-delivered services. All these ‘solutions’ create real problems that are well-documented at home and around the world.
Moist will address the Fraser Institute report today, during his speech to health care workers at CUPE’s Hospital Employees’ Union convention in Richmond, B.C.
“In any serious discussion about keeping a cap on costs, it’s undeniable that our single-payer system is the most efficient way of funding public health care,” says Moist.
“And let’s tackle the real crisis in health spending: spiralling drug costs. It’s time for the federal government to introduce a national prescription drug program that gets a handle on the fastest-growing area of health spending once and for all.”
CUPE represents more than a half-million workers in communities across Canada.
Note to reporters: National President Paul Moist will speak to the HEU convention at 3 p.m. PST the Best Western Richmond Hotel and Convention Centre, 7551 Westminster Hwy in Richmond B.C.
For more information:
CUPE National President
CUPE Communications Director
613-237-1590 ext. 264