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WINNIPEG The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the modest amendments proposed to Bill 25 will bring Manitobas Health Services Insurance Act into closer compliance with the spirit of the Canada Health Act.

Contrary to what many have been saying, Bill 25 is not a radical piece of legislation, said CUPE Manitoba President Paul Moist. What it does is clarify the terms and conditions under which private surgical facilities can operate in this province, and closes a loophole left open by legislation passed by the previous government.

Moist said far from being ideologically driven, the modest amendments proposed by the NDP Government will stop profit-making clinics from draining the Medicare system by siphoning off the most lucrative surgical procedures and squeezing the public system left to deal with only the least economical procedures.

CUPE members who work on the front line in Canadas health care system applaud Health Minister Dave Chomiaks decision said Moist.

We agree that the biggest problem affecting this provinces health care system is inadequate funding, not a lack of surgical facilities, he said. The Federal Liberals continue to run up billions of dollars in surplus after surplus yet funding for health care to the provinces continues to shrink.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union representing more than a half-million women and men across the country. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, child cares, utilities, libraries and emergency services.

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For more information, contact:
Paul Moist
CUPE Manitoba President
Cell phone: (204) 981-2873