Keep health care public

Beginning on Sept. 8, the biggest challenge to date to Canada's Medicare will be heard in British Columbia's Supreme Court.

Editor:

Beginning on Sept. 8, the biggest challenge to date to Canada’s Medicare will be heard in British Columbia’s Supreme Court.

If successful, our public health-care system will crumble across the country.

The constitutional challenge is being led by Dr. Brian Day who operates the private for-profit Cambie Street Clinic in Vancouver. Dr. Day believes that the defining principle of Medicare—access to health care should be based on need, not the patient’s ability to pay—is unconstitutional.

If he succeeds in court, Dr. Day would further open the way to an American “user pay” style of health care in Canada. We must not let this happen.

The impact would be felt in many ways: doctors would be able to set any price they wish on their services; expensive private insurance would become necessary. In the U.S., the average cost of insurance for a family of four is $23,215 per year.

Families would be subjected to greater financial instability. In the U.S., three out of five personal bankruptcies are health care related and 69 per cent of those declaring bankruptcy were insured at the time.

Wait times in the public system will increase as more and more doctors are siphoned off into the more lucrative for-profit system.

Is this the future that you envision for yourself, your family and future generations?

To learn more, visit www.savemedicare.ca and www.bchealthcoalition.ca.

Act now—before it’s too late.

Nancy Czigany

Port Alberni