Friday, January 20, 2012

Secure the Future of Medicare: A Call to Care

Canadian Health Coalition
January 2012

Health care in Canada is a fundamental right without distinction of race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, political belief, immigration status, and economic or social condition. Organizations representing millions of Canadians will mobilize to defend this right and to ensure that the following principles shape the direction of the Health Accord renewal:

The recognition of the highest attainment of health as a fundamental right throughout life and the necessity of preserving public health through active measures of promotion, prevention, and protection including such determinants as housing, food safety, income, education, environment, employment and peace.

The recognition that many Aboriginal people have a poor health status and a high burden of disease. The current system is failing and requires a transformation of the relationship between Canada and its Aboriginal people to find solutions together. The Aboriginal people must be at the First Ministers discussions on the Health Accord as these solutions involve all levels of government.

The recognition of health care as a public good for which no financial barriers must be erected. We affirm the need for a system of public health care which is organized on the basis of public administration, public insurance and the delivery of services on a public, not-for-profit basis.

Opposition to any commercialization and privatization of health care. Therefore the federal government must negotiate a general exclusion of health services and health insurance from all trade agreements.

The need for the federal government to fully assume its responsibilities in respect to health, particularly by securing the adequate and predictable federal health transfers and enforcement of the Canada Health Act.

The reaffirmation of the original vision of a truly comprehensive public health care system for Canadians providing a continuum of services. The next steps are the expansion of the public system to include a universal Pharmacare plan, a system of home and community care, long-term care, and a strategy for mental health.

The need to move towards a community-based, multi-disciplinary team approach to the management, organization and delivery of services, especially in primary care. Levels of services must be sufficient so that the burden of care does not fall on families, mainly women.

An accountable health care system through democratic participation and transparent governance at all levels.
The recognition that health care workers are critical to the effective operation of the health care system and that decent wages and working conditions are essential to high quality care.

We come together to commit to ensuring that governments throughout Canada renew their commitment to protect and expand Canada’s public health care system to meet the present and future needs of all people living in Canada, based on the principles (public administration, universality, comprehensiveness, accessibility and portability) and conditions (no extra billing or user fees, or queue-jumping) of the Canada Health Act.

Regardless of where we live, it is now imperative to reaffirm the social values we all share. These values must guide our collective choices for future of health care. What stands between Medicare and its destruction are the peoples of Canada. Future generations are depending on our vigilance.

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Action santé Outaouais
Alternatives North
B.C. Health Coalition
British Columbia Nurses Union
Canadian Doctors for Medicare
Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
Canadian Health Coalition
Canadian Labour Congress
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Centrale des syndicats du Québec
Citizens for Public Justice
Coalition Solidarité Santé
Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
Congress of Union Retirees of Canada
Council of Canadians
Council of Canadians, Nelson-West Kootenay Chapter
Fédération de la santé du Québec
Fédération des syndicats de la santé et des services sociaux
Friends of Medicare Alberta
Health Coalition of Newfoundland and Labrador
Health for All
Health Providers Against Poverty
InterChurch Health Ministries Canada
Inter Pares
Kamloops Health Coalition
MacKillop Centre for Social Justice
Manitoba Nurses Union
Medical Reform Group
Médecins québécois pour le régime public
Mnaamodzawin Health Services
National Pensioners and Senior Citizens Federation
National Union of Public and General Employees
New Brunswick Federation of Union Retirees
New Brunswick Health Coalition
New Brunswick Nurses Union
Newfoundland & Labrador Nurses Union
Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union
Ontario Health Coalition
Ontario Nurses’ Association
Positive Living BC
PEI Health Coalition
Prince Edward Island Nurses’ Union
Public Health Social Justice Collective
Public Service Alliance of Canada
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
Saskatchewan Health Coalition
Saskatchewan Union of Nurses
Service Employees International Union – SEIU-West
Société des enseignantes et des enseignants retraités francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick
Students for Medicare
United Church of Canada
United Food and Commercial Workers Union
United Nurses of Alberta
United Steelworkers

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