LETTER: Health care under attack

At the same time, there is a court challenge waged by Dr. Brian Day of Vancouver to change health care in BC.

When Tommy Douglas introduced Medicare in Saskatchewan over 50 years ago, he had to battle against insurance companies and some doctors who believed that health was a way for them to make money. He won.

The doctors who are dedicated to their profession more than their bank accounts won and eventually, all Canadians won. Our health care system became part of our birthright as Canadians and it created an important distinction between us and our American neighbours.

Unfortunately, health care in this country is under increasing attack. The Harper government has not renewed the Health Accord that expired on March 31, and as such, the provinces are faced with huge financial cuts that will impact our ability to access quality and universal health care.

At the same time, there is a court challenge waged by Dr. Brian Day of Vancouver to change health care in BC.

Dr. Day runs a for-profit clinic in Vancouver and prefers the American style of health care that allows doctors to charge what they want and wealthier citizens to access what they can afford to pay for, leaving the rest of us and our public system hurting.

That isn’t how he would describe his case. He would say that he is trying “to strike down draconian laws, the likes of which do not exist in any other country on earth” (taken from a Vancouver newspaper interview).

Draconian for who? People who can afford to pay but must wait for opportunities like the rest of us?

There is no doubt that our public health care system has been squeezed by funding cuts for years but that is a political act that is being deliberately perpetrated by a federal government that prefers profits over people.

A legal challenge will not change those priorities, only the electorate can. Legal challenges to our health acts will not provide required health care access to Kaslo or citizens around Castlegar after 8 p.m. Legal challenges have the potential to strike down the very legislation and public policy that allows our healthcare system to function, as beaten up as it currently is.

Most people had no idea that a 10-year health agreement quietly died on March 31 and that is the way government likes it. We won’t notice the impact until we require hospital care but by then, the nurses, doctors, technicians and equipment will disappear due to lack of funding.

Line ups will become longer and more frustrating or, if the legal challenge prevails, the human and technical resources will disappear into private holdings and those who have the funds to pay will get what they can afford.

Tommy Douglas didn’t know we would have to fight this battle all over again.

Cindy McCallum Miller


Just Posted

Slocan Valley added to communities on flooding evac alert

Kootenay Lake is expected to reach flooding level in Nelson by Friday

UPDATED: Hwy 3 west of Creston remains closed due to mudslide

A detour is available on the Kootenay Lake Ferry, but commuters could see wait times

COLUMN: Making a wildlife smart community

David White writes how property owners can avoid conflict with nature

Police searching for Nelson man

Brent Mickelson hasn’t been heard from since February

Local police recognized for work

Eight officers were honoured for removing impaired drivers

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

B.C. tech company will power Uber Elevate

Moli and Uber announce research and development partnership.

UPDATE: Woman dies in ocean accident near Tofino hours before daughter’s wedding

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped our mom.”

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Most Read