Our message is simple, said national president Judy Darcy. We need public health care, we deserve it, and we most certainly can afford it.
In a letter to the ministers on the eve of the meeting, Darcy set out CUPEs concerns. The agreement struck last month by the first ministers injects $21 billion into health care over the next five years. But that wont make up for previous cuts to the Canada Health and Social Transfer.
Even more disturbing is the lack of a clear commitment to end privatization.
With the federal government unwilling to enforce the Canada Health Act or promote Medicares expansion, Canadians are worried some provinces will continue down the road to privatization, dragging others with them, said Darcy.
The absence of any national direction leaves it to the provinces to duke it out over reform and expansion of public health care. Given some of the pro-privatization players around the health ministers table, thats a dangerous proposition, Paul Moist, president of CUPE Manitoba, told the media.
Since Allan Rock gave the private health care bully boys free rein, we are left fighting against the lowest common denominator, instead of striving for excellence.