NUPGE outlines Medavie’s growing role in privatization

Even though Medavie administers over $1 billion in public funds, financial reports are not made public.

Ottawa (27 Feb. 2018) — A newly released briefing note from the National Union of Public and General  Employees (NUPGE) outlines Medavie’s growing role in the privatization of public services.

The company started as a health insurance provider in the Maritimes, but in the past few years Medavie has taken over the operation of an increasing number of health care services elsewhere in the country. It now operates health care services in 6 provinces and the United States.

Originally, the services Medavie took over were private for-profit paramedic services. However, increasingly Medavie is taking over services that were publicly operated.

When Medavie takes over public services, accountability is lost

While Medavie uses the fact that it is a not-for-profit corporation to try to reduce concerns about privatization of health care services, many of the problems associated with privatization develop when Medavie takes over services.

Even though Medavie administers over $1 billion in public funds, financial reports are not made public. The public also have no say in who runs the company. Members of the board of directors of Medavie’s parent company, Medavie Inc., are hand-picked by the existing board. The only people they are accountable to are the other 11 members of the board of directors.

Briefing note provides details of Medavie operations

The briefing note provides details of where Medavie operates and what services it has taken over. It also outlines some of the reasons people should be concerned about Medavie controlling public services.

What the briefing note also shows that when public services are privatized, the secrecy and lack of accountability means the public are denied access to important information about services they pay for and rely on. Freedom of information legislation and other accountability measures that public services must comply with don’t apply to Medavie. Even basic information is kept from the public , such as how much of a profit Medavie makes from operating privatized services that the public funds.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE