Saturday, June 23, 2012

Medicare Birthday Bash - Saskatoon

Sponsored by Saskatoon Community Clinic

WHEN Tuesday, July 3 – 6:00 (Optional Walking Tour) and 7:00 p.m. (Program)

WHERE Saskatoon – Delta Bessborough

Dramatic readings, presentations, cake cutting, displays and more. Optional Medicare walking tour commencing at 6:00 p.m. meeting outside the Bessborough. Program begins at 7:00 p.m. in the William Pascoe Room at the Bessborough. No cost – donations appreciated. For further info phone 652-0300, ext. 243.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Saskatchewan cities and towns proclaim Medicare Month

Saskatchewan Health Care Coalition

The cities of Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Saskatoon and Regina are proclaiming July as Medicare Month. 

The Health Minister also wrote Marlene Brown of the Saskatchewan Health Coalition this week to confirm the Province of Saskatchewan is doing the same.

And today, the town of Birch Hill has confirmed they are proclaiming July as Medicare Month.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Envisioning the Future of Medicare

Speaking Notes for The Hon. Roy J. Romanow, P.C., O.C, Q.C.
Co-Chair, Canadian Index of Wellbeing Advisory Board
Senior Fellow, Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan;
Former Commissioner on the Future of Health Care in Canada;
Former Premier of Saskatchewan
Envisioning the Future of Medicare: A Citizens’ Conference
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
June 15, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

50 Years of Medicare Conference: Romanow says medicare needs federal vision to avoid disparity

Urges frank discussion with Ottawa

By Betty Ann Adam

Saskatoon StarPhoenix 
June 16, 2012

The unifying force medicare has played in Canada is being eroded by Ottawa's decision to make health care transfer payments to the provinces without overall national goals attached, former premier Roy Romanow says.

"The federal government is out of the picture and this opens the door to huge disparities. I don't think that's the way you build a modern day health care plan and for sure it's not a way to build a more unified, progressive and strong Canada," Romanow said after speaking to a public policy conference at the University of Saskatchewan on the future of medicare.

Canada needs a national vision for health care to prevent provinces with greater wealth benefiting from enhanced care while poorer provinces receive less, Romanow said.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Health care authors in Moose Jaw

Ryan Meili answers questions about his book and his prescription for better social health while Gary Engler waits idly by for his turn at a double book launch Tuesday evening.
Gary Engler on left, Ryan Meili on right
By Aaron Stuckel 
Moose Jaw Times Herald
June 12, 2012

Two Moose Javian authors were at Java Express Tuesday evening for a double book launch that featured both fictional and non-fictional insight on Canadian politics as they relate to health and health care.

“There’s a connection between the two books in that one is a work of non-fiction about the health care system and politics and one is a novel sort of about the history of how our health care system came to be,” said Gary Engler, author of The Year We Became Us.

Engler’s fictional novel is set in Moose Jaw in 1962 during the doctor’s strike in Saskatchewan that occurred as the province began it’s move towards Medicare. Through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl with two very different views, the novel is a snapshot of one of Canada’s defining moments.

“American writers have all kinds of novels set during important events of American history. It seems to me that it’s an important thing for Canadians to do the same thing,” said Engler. “The strike of 1962, it seems to me, is one of the pivotal events in Canadian history. Most Canadians today, when asked what makes this country better than the United States, say Medicare.”

Born in 1953, Engler spent the first 13 years of his life in Moose Jaw before the closing of the Robin Hood flourmill sent his family elsewhere. But the impressions left on him during those years have filtered their way into the book, becoming what Engler describes as a “third character” in itself.

“When I grew up, there was a lot of rivalries between kids from different parts of town, to the point where we would have fights just because we were from different sides of town,” he said. “Moose Jaw made things clear to people. There were stark divisions.”

Engler’s take on the history of Medicare and the politics that occurred around that formative time blended nicely with his cohort in the double book launch, Ryan Meili.

For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nine million Italians deprived of healthcare as austerity and privatisation bites

JUNE 6, 2012

‘The right to heath is guaranteed only to those who can afford it’, say pensioners

Nine million Italians are being deprived of healthcare because they can’t afford it. That’s the conclusion of a new report report by RBM-Salute Censis that also shows that spending on the public health system has halved since the onset of the financial crisis.

New and rising healthcare charges, long waiting lists and diagnostic appointments that are in practice near impossible to get in the public sector have prevented poorer Italians from obtaining medical treatment. The vulnerable are the hardest hit by the cuts and a creeping privatisation process: four million in the south, 2.4 million pensioners and 2.5 million with families and children, the study shows.

Those will deep pockets have increased expenditure on private healthcare by 25.5% in the past 10 years. But funding for the public health system has fallen from an average growth rate of 6% in 2000-2007 to 2.3% in 2008-2010. 77% of those who coughed up from their own purses said it was because of waiting lists. Now 31.7% are unhappy with the public health system, up from 21.7% three years ago.

‘Cuts to public health lower the quality of services and create inequality. For these reasons it must be a priority to find additional funding to stop less public spending leading to greater private expenditure and worse health for those who can’t pay,’ stated the report.

Commenting on the study, Carla Cantone, general secretary the SPI CGIL union of pensioners said:

‘The number of elderly that are forced to renounce healthcare will soon increase dramatically because of the deepening of the crisis, the government’s failure to respond and the dramatic situation in the public health system.

‘We have got to unsustainable situation in which the right to heath is guaranteed only to those who can afford it and those who go private. We call on the govermment to act with urgency, boosting public health and guaranteeing access to health to those who need it.’