When you can’t find a family doctor in your community, or if you’re a hospital patient waiting for care from a desperately overworked nurse – then you understand the importance of finding solutions to Canada’s shortage of doctors and nurses. But allowing more private health care facilities won’t fix the shortage of health professionals. In fact, it will make it worse.

This September, a serious challenge to our universal system, will be heard in the British Columbia Supreme Court.  If it is successful, it could open the door to a wide range of private user-pay medical services, creating a two-tier health care system in Canada, where the level and timeliness of the care you need is decided by your ability to pay.  Dr. Brian Day, owner of Vancouver’s Cambie Surgery Centre is arguing that the provincial legislation limiting the delivery of medically necessary services by for-profit companies, is a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

Our voices are needed again at this critical time. We are urging Canadians to gather people together across your community, start talking publicly about this issue with each other and your provincial and federal politicians.  The recent federal budget makes little mention of health care funding and a new Canada Health Accord between the provinces and the federal government is long overdue. The previous Accord expired in 2014.

For decades, The United Church of Canada has supported the concept of universally accessible health care for all Canadians. The gospel calls us to seek health and wholeness for all God’s people as part of Christ’s ministry[1].

In 2014 the church signed the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) statement, Secure the Future of Medicare: A Call to Care, stating that health care in Canada is a fundamental right. We continue to support for Canada’s single-tier, publicly-funded, universal health care system through our partnership with the CHC and representation on their Board.  

Please join us in pushing for health reform:

Throughout this month, additional information on this issue and ways you can become engaged, will be posted on this blog and shared through social media, so stay tuned!

 

[1] GC36 (1997) Health Policy