OTTAWA - Prime Minister Paul Martin can prove his commitment to the Canada Health Act (CHA) by making sure its next report to Parliament is full of accurate information, not full of holes, said Paul Moist, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
We are alerting MPs that we look forward to working with them to ensure that the next report is full of accurate and up-to-date information, not full of holes, said Moist.
Moist was reacting to recent revelations that Martin considered scrapping the CHA to foster provincial flexibility while drafting the 1995 budget. Pressure groups have long called on the Liberals to truly monitor and enforce the CHA, and are now calling on MPs to make sure that the next report to Parliament details the extent of for-profit delivery of health services.
Recent Annual Reports to Parliament on the CHA have consistently failed to identify or assess the significant privatization initiatives underway in several provinces, said Moist.
Auditors General have in recent years documented serious deficiencies in the Health Minister’s monitoring of, reporting on, and enforcement of the CHA. Evidence demonstrates that the proliferation of private for-profit clinics can undermine the objectives and purpose of the CHA. In particular, two-tier medically necessary services, like MRI tests, violate the CHA requirement that universal access to publicly funded services be provided on uniform terms and conditions.
Moist noted that the next annual report to Parliament on the CHA, monitoring the year 2003-04, is due in the coming months.
Paul Moist, CUPE National President, cell (613) 558 2873;
David Robbins, CUPE Communications, cell (613) 878 1431