The security of our public health care system is in a constant state of threat. The claims that the high cost of public health care is unsustainable have been coming at us ever since the Canada Health Act was passed in 1984.
We went through a funding crisis in the 1990s and again between 2008-2011 as austerity took hold across the provinces. Between 2010 and 2014, health spending per capita decreased by an average of 0.2% per year, mostly because of fiscal restraints and modest economic growth. Since then, health spending per capita has increased annually by an average of 1.7%.
These increases aren’t adequate to sustain our health care system. Hospital budgets have been particularly constrained as investments are made in long-term and community-based care. While hospitals are struggling with inadequate funding, we have collectively been enduring longer wait times for emergency treatment and some types of surgery. The wait time issue and the financial sustainability arguments are used by many to promote for-profit, private health care.
Our public health care system is currently under threat in a trial in BC. A doctor and CEO of a private surgical clinic is trying to have the protections of public health care declared unconstitutional so that he can have the freedom to bill patients while also billing the public system. In effect, he’s trying to create a market place for health care.
We have taken a close look at the current state of health care across the country and compiled our findings in our latest research paper.
To secure the future of public health care, we’re calling on the federal government to assert a leadership role to fund it fairly, keep it public and expand it.
It’s time to take action once again. The Canadian Health Coalition is calling on everyone to help get the word out about the importance of protecting our public health care system. We need to ensure care continues to be delivered based on people’s needs and not the size of their bank accounts.
Let’s make a lot of noise over the next few months. Let’s build up our public health care system so that it’s truly the envy of the world!
Together – We’ve Got This!