Sunday, April 15, 2012

Report from Students for Medicare Conference

Older Women's Network
April 12, 2012
OWN members Pam Churchill, Marilyn Schafer, Carolyn Bennet, Mary Hynes, Sally Ferguson and Erin Harris attended Students for Medicare’s 4th Annual Conference, “Medicare in the Age of Austerity” on March 31, 2012. Other OWN members might like to know what happened.

Schedule and program
Conference Videos  — Both keynote speeches are online, at the links below:

Gordon Guyatt, Canadian Healthcare 101, 1 of 7
Dr. Gordon Guyatt, Internist, Evidence-Based Medicine expert, Office of Order of Canada, Founder of Medical Reform Group gives an introduction to the healthcare debate in Canada and presents evidence for the equity and efficiency of a publicly funded healthcare system.

Armine Yalnizyan on Austerity, 1 of 3
Armine Yalnizyan, Senior Economist with the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives discusses austerity and five key ways health professionals and students can join forces to fight for progressive change in Canada.

Top 10 Tweetable Moments
Information collated from the keynote sessions and facilitated discussions that you can promote through your networks:

1. Universal health care; anyone can go into the ER, get seen, without someone asking if they can afford it (seems simple).

2. Ways to get more knowledgeable about Canada’s health care system, see: @CdnDrs4Medicare &

3. Can Canada do better with less growth? Yes, but innovation is needed.

4. Need more young people in the healthcare debate. Share your voice! You can evict a bunch of people from a park, but you can’t evict an idea.

5. The healthcare public vs. private pay question is one of values: equity for all or autonomy for some. Where do you stand?

6. Public discourse is too often fueled by fear and assumptions. Let’s start sharing stories that reflect the positives in our system.

7. In conveying messages, stick to simple information, with a clear message, and as always, think about what is tweetable!

8. Need to inform the public before policy makers (i.e. prevention may be more valuable). Once the public is convinced, bigwigs follow suit!

9. Conservatives use Europe as an example of private healthcare systems. Europe has more public funding, higher taxes and better safety nets!

10. Do we live in a one-tier or two-tier system? Drugs, dental, rehab, home care are not covered!  Can we move towards a more universal system?
Get involved!
If you support Students for Medicare and are interested in hearing about their work, or just getting occasional notifications of other interesting events and news stories, get on their monthly mailing list: just email

Facebook: Students for Medicare / Twitter: @stdnts4medicare

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