'Leadership from the prime minister is urgently needed.'
Ottawa (6 July 2007) - Shirley Douglas is urging Prime Minister Steven Harper to watch the new movie SiCKO and to stand up for Canada's national public medicare program.
"I am asking the prime minister to watch Michael Moore's film SiCKO to see what will happen if he lets the Canadian health care system fail," says Douglas, a spokesperson of the Canadian Health Coalition and the daughter of Canadian medicare pioneer Tommy Douglas.
"Leadership from the prime minister is urgently needed in light of the growing pressure to replace Canada's medicare system with a two-tier U.S. style system," she says.
"Canadians want the problems in their health care system fixed within the principles of the Canada Health Act. They don't want politicians to usher in the nightmare exposed in SiCKO, where insurance companies and investor-owned hospitals reap enormous profits by denying care to the sick," adds Douglas.
CMA undermining health care
Various provincial governments – especially Quebec – along with the incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Dr. Brian Day, are advocating an expanded role for private health insurance companies in Canada.
According to Day, the for-profit health care industry, depicted in SiCKO, represents a potential $40 billion dollars a year in business for health insurance and investor-owned clinics in Canada.
"Together with the premiers, the health care providers, and the people of Canada, Prime Minister Harper needs to build on the great success of medicare," argues Douglas. "The federal government must be the guardian of the Canada Health Act to ensure access to care is based on need, not ability to pay."
Douglas says SiCKO is a must see for every Canadian and a mandatory film for all politicians. NUPGE
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring that our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE