Thursday, May 31, 2012

Labour activists fight against privatization and contracting out of healthcare workers

May 31, 2012

"These workers should not be tossed aside in a drive to reduce costs and increase profits.” - Darryl Walker, BCGEU President.

Over 100 activists from all sectors of the labour movement rallied in Kelowna on May 25 in support of the 130 workers from Spring Valley Care Centre who have all been given lay off notices.

The rally, which took place outside the office of Kelowna-Mission Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Steve Thomson, also raised awareness.

“The passage of Bill 29 in 2002, allowed care facilities to contract out care and support services to reduce wages. This is one more example of how B.C. Liberal policies have failed seniors and their families,” says Darryl Walker, B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) President. “At the same time it continues to drive down the wages of health care workers, most of whom are women. These workers should not be tossed aside in a drive to reduce costs and increase profits.”

BC Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair called on Premier Christy Clark to intervene and protect the jobs of the Spring Valley care home workers and the quality of care for seniors throughout the province.

"Our seniors and their families deserve better from this government," said Sinclair. "Bill 29 has done nothing but line the pockets of facility owners at the expense of seniors and the people who serve them."

50 Years of Medicare

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

You are cordially invited to share an evening with former Premier Roy Romanow as we celebrate 50 Years of Medicare and look forward to the next 50 years. This special event happens on Saturday, June 23, 2012 as part of the 75th Annual Convention of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party in Saskatoon.

The 50th anniversary of the implementation of Medicare in Saskatchewan is July 1, 2012. Today, Medicare is something that all Canadians take pride in and unfortunately most take for granted. The implementation of Medicare did not happen easily or without significant protest and opposition. The CCF Government, led by Woodrow Lloyd at the time, was immediately faced with a doctors’ strike opposing public health care. This was an incredibly difficult challenge for the CCF Government of the day and many members of that administration received death threats and other attempts at intimidation. The Government held its ground and prevailed, planting the seed which has now become our national Medicare program and a point of pride for Canadians. Join us as we celebrate the creation of Medicare by our predecessors and look towards the next 50 years.

The dinner will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2012 at TCU Place, 35 22nd Street East, Saskatoon. The cash bar featuring free champagne for the first 30 minutes will open at 5:30 p.m. with an opportunity to view a collection of art by Saskatchewan artists available by silent auction. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. immediately followed by the program featuring former NDP Premier Roy Romanow as we celebrate 50 years of Medicare and look to the next 50 years.

Tickets are $100.00 per person and there are several sponsorship options available. All proceeds from the event will go to the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party. Please inform your colleagues and friends of this important event.

To ensure your reservation or sponsorship, please complete and return the attached form at your earliest opportunity by mail, fax or email. If you have any questions, or prefer to purchase your tickets by phone please call me at 306-525-1322 ext. 1. I will respond to your questions promptly.


John Tzupa on behalf of
The 50 Years of Medicare Planning Committee

John Tzupa
Director of Organization
Saskatchewan NDP
1122 Saskatchewan Drive
Regina SK S4P 0C4
(306) 525-1322 ext. 1

Premiers meet to discuss pan-Canadian health-care strategy

By Brent Patterson
Council of Canadians
Thursday, May 31st, 2012 

The Globe and Mail reports, “(Canada’s premiers) are collaborating on (the development of) a pan-Canadian health-care strategy. It comes in the wake of the federal government’s no-strings funding formula for health care, one that leaves it up to the provinces to shape social policy. …It’s an ambitious agenda for a country where the provinces have autonomy over health care and where premiers are not used to co-operating on developing social policies. But with health-care costs consuming a growing chunk of program spending in every region, the premiers are under pressure to tackle reforms as a group.”

“Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz will lead a two-day meeting of provincial and territorial health ministers beginning Thursday evening in Toronto. …Mr. Wall and Mr. Ghiz plan to submit a report to their provincial colleagues at the premiers’ annual meeting in July.”

Friday, May 25, 2012

Privilege and Policy A History of Community Clinics in Saskatchewan

By Stan Rands
Series: Canadian Plains Reprint Series 15
Year: 2012. Pages: 180
Binding: Paperback

The introduction of medicare in Saskatchewan marks a dividing point in the history of the province and Canada. Before 1962, access to medical care was predicated on ability to pay and private health insurance.  After 1962, access to needed medical care became a right in Saskatchewan, later extended to the rest of Canada.  The battle to establish medicare was hard fought and in the front lines were the community clinics.  Stan Rands was one of the key individuals who established and managed community clinics in Saskatchewan.  Here is his story of how the medicare battle was fought by those who not only wanted to eliminate money as a barrier to care but also wanted to change the way health care was delivered. Privilege and Policy: A History of Community Clinics in Saskatchewan is the inside story of a more radical vision of medicare, one that has still not been achieved in Canada.

Stan Rands

A Rhodes scholar, Stan Rands worked as a senior civil servant in the Psychiatric Services Branch of the Department of Public Health in Saskatchewan for over a decade before becoming the first executive director of the Community Health Service (Sask) Association months after the Doctors' Strike of 1962. For the next decade, he recruited new doctors who were sympathetic to the ideals of the community clinics and he struggled in favour of a physician payment system that would encourage better care for patients. In his later years, he was a university professor and community clinic board member as well as social justice activist. Stan Rands died in 1985.

The Year We Became Us: Saskatchewan Book Tour

The Year We Became Us: A Novel About the Saskatchewan Doctors Strike 
Written by Gary Engler
Fernwood Publishing

Click image above to enlarge

Allan Blakeney on the Media During the 1962 Medicare Fight

Queen's Quarterly

50 years of Medicare!

CUPE Saskatchewan

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Medicare Month Proclamation

Saskatchewan Health Coalition 

Fifty years ago this July, Saskatchewan people made history by establishing the first universal public health insurance program in North America. Saskatchewan’s Medical Care Insurance Act took effect on July 1, 1962.

Other provinces and the Canadian government followed Saskatchewan’s lead. Medicare quickly became a cherished national program and a defining characteristic of what makes us Canadian.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Medicare in Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Health Coalition would like the ______ of __________ to proclaim July 2012 as Medicare month.

The Coalition has produced streets banners and signs to mark this important occasion.

Encourage your community to support our Proclamation.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Medicare Anniversary Calendar

Fans of medicare:

I just wanted to let everyone know about our 50th Anniversary Medicare Calender coming out in early June. We are currently only taking bulk orders but will have online sales available soon.

A draft of the calender is below

Individual calenders: $18.00

30 calenders for the price of 25: $450.00

50 calenders for the price of 40: $720.00

Simon Enoch, PhD
Director - CCPA Saskatchewan
G-2835 13th Avenue
Regina, SK
S4T 1N6
(306) 924 3372
CAW Local 567

Friday, May 18, 2012

For-profit Tailor Medical health centre shuts its doors

By Tom Blackwell
National Post
May 18, 2012

Tyler Anderson/National Post
Tyler Anderson/National Post
The door to Tailor Medical's now empty office at 330 Bay Street, Toronto.
    One of the most ambitious for-profit health-care ventures launched in Canada recently has gone out of business, barely a year after reportedly investing $4- to $5-million in an opulent “executive health” clinic in the heart of Toronto’s financial district.
Customers who arrived for appointments at Tailor Medical recently found the doors locked shut.
Neither the facility’s two founders nor its landlord could be reached for comment Thursday. Other sources, however, say the company is already looking for someone to take over a 12-year lease on 24,000 square feet of space in a Bay Street office tower, and buy the expensive equipment inside it.
“They were just bleeding money and enough was enough,” said one source familiar with the situation.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Making Medicare: New Perspectives on the History of Medicare in Canada

Edited by Gregory P. Marchildon
University of Toronto Press, 
Available Aug 2012

The Canadian health care system is so indisputably tied to our national identity that its founder, Tommy Douglas, was voted the greatest Canadian of all time in a CBC television contest. However, very little has been written to date on how Medicare as we know it was developed and implemented. This collection fills a serious gap in the existing literature by providing a comprehensive policy history of Medicare in Canada.

Making Medicare features explorations of the experiments that predated the federal government’s decision to implement the Saskatchewan health care model, from Newfoundland’s cottage hospital system to Bennettcare in British Columbia. It also includes essays by key individuals (including health practitioners and two premiers) who played a role in the implementation of Medicare and the landmark Royal Commission on Health Services. Along with political scientists, policy specialists, medical historians, and health practitioners, this collection will appeal to anyone interested in the history and legacy of one of Canada’s most visible and centrally important institutions.

Due in Stock: August 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Envisioning the Future of Medicare: A Citizens’ Conference

Saskatchewan CCPA

 Envisioning the Future of Medicare: A Citizens’ Conference 

9 am to 3 pm,
Friday June 15th, 2012 
Arts 134 
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

Dear Sir or Madam, On behalf of the Board of Directors of CCPA Saskatchewan, I am pleased to invite you and members of your organization to a unique citizens’ conference on the future of medicare in our province.

This conference offers participants the rare opportunity to engage with leaders and policy experts on the future of universal healthcare, including former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Senior Economist Armine Yalnizyan, Dean of the College of Medicine Dr. William Albritton, Health Policy and Research Consultant Steven Lewis, Medical doctor and community organizer Ryan Meili, long-time public health activists Dr. John and Betsy Bury and former Vice President, Community Services of Saskatoon Health Region, Shan Landry Unlike other conferences, this event will offer participants the chance to engage in interactive discussion groups on the prominent issues and challenges facing our public medicare system.

The participants themselves will drive these discussions in five key issues of importance to the healthcare debate. Participants will then have the opportunity to receive feedback and insight from prominent experts acting as “respondents” to the group discussions.

This is a rare and unique opportunity for persons concerned with the future of public medicare in our country to engage in a lively and spirited discussion with some of the brightest minds on the issue of healthcare. Space is limited, so we ask you to please register by May 21, 2012 to ensure your participation. Please find attached a registration form with a listing of the five discussion sessions.

Please rank your preference for which session you would most like to attend from 1 to 5 with 1 indicating your greatest preference. Coffee and Lunch will be provided.

We look forward to your participation,

Simon Enoch, PhD CCPA Saskatchewan
G-2835 13th Avenue
Regina, SK CCPA Saskatchewan
S4T 1N6
306 924 3372

Registration form below...

Click to enlarge