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LETTER: Castlegar Health Watch pans Canada Health Accord

Do you care what sort of health care we will have in Canada starting in 2014? Do you want cheaper drug prices? How about health care programs and policies co-ordinated and monitored at a national level? Or having a national strategy to reduce wait times? Or including national standards for home and residential care? All these are on the table as the agreements on health care and transfer payments between the federal government and the provinces are being re-negotiated.

Do you want to see our universal public health care system reduced? Do you want to see more and more health care services privatized? The Prime Minister has already stated that the money (our taxes) transferred from the federal to the provincial budgets for healthcare will be reduced in 2014. Furthermore there will be no requirement to report how that money is spent provincially. He also prefers to negotiate separately with each province in order to strike separate deals.

The present federal government is in favour of privatizing as much of our health care system as possible and downloading costs on to the individual. This is contrary to many polls stating that Canadians want to preserve and improve publicly funded health care. What are our core values around caring for each other when we get sick?

This week the First Ministers are meeting in Halifax to continue discussions on the new Health Accord. Watch the news for updates and contact the Prime Minister, your MP and MLA,  BC Premier Christie Clark and BC Health Minister Mike de Jong if you believe that the new plans for the Canada Health Accord are not in the interests of all Canadians.

Sincerely

Sally Williams, Chairperson,

Castlegar & District Health Watch