November 22, 2011
When provincial and territorial health ministers meet in Halifax, Nova Scotia this week to discuss the upcoming federal health accord, they will be greeted by community and labour activists with a clear message about what should take place in this round of negotiations.
The federal health accord expires in 2014 but discussions across the country have already begun. Government's have been sounding the alarm saying that health care is unaffordable, yet at every turn they provide corporate tax cuts thus reducing government revenue.The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has produced Here they go again, a pamphlet which spells out how the federal transfers work and why investment is needed.
To further demonstrate that there are better choices than to cut programs and services or reduce funding, the Canadian Health Professionals Secretariat (CHPS), a national advocacy body representing 70,000 unionized professionals who deliver the diagnostic, clinical, rehabilitation and preventive services that are essential to timely and quality care, will be meeting in Halifax on Nov. 24 and 25, to coincide with the ministers' meetings.
CHPS is working with local and national organizations to ensure a strong presence in the city to pressure the ministers to maintain their commitments to the Health Accord and invest further in Canada's universal health care instead of walking away from their responsibilities.
On Nov. 24, health care experts will host a public town hall meeting to highlight many of the health care innovations and will provide an opportunity for the public to develop its own priorities for this round of federal/provincial/territorial negotiations.
The next day, Nov. 25, a noon-time rally will be held in Victoria Park (corner of Spring Garden Rd. and South Park St.) to demonstrate to the ministers that public health remains a high priority for Canadians.
According to James Clancy, NUPGE President "the principle of these transfers is that every Canadian should have equal access to services regardless of where they live. This promise of universal health care and social and public services defines our society."
"We need to work together to force them to put people before tax cuts and excessive corporate profits. We need to invest more money to keep that most prized jewel of Canadians — Medicare — strong."
Here they go again: Less sharing, more inequality
Event information: 2014 Health Accord