Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Network see proposed changes to the Health Services and Insurance Act as significant step forward.
Halifax (04 July 2012) – The provincial government is moving in the right direction to protect public health care in Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Network, of which the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) are active supporters, is pleased with the government’s release of proposed legislation and a discussion paper to update the outdated Health Services and Insurance Act of 1973.
According to Health Network chairperson Lee Seymour, “Today is a huge step forward. The proposed changes to the Health Services and Insurance Act are long overdue and will help ensure public health care is there when patients need it.”
“The proposed changes enshrine the principles of the Canada Health Act in provincial law, prohibit queue jumping and help limit extra-billing. ” says Kyle Buott, coordinator of the Health Network.
The Health Network has been campaigning since 1996 to enshrine the principles of the Canada Health Act in provincial law. The five principles – universality, public administration, comprehensives, portability and accessibility – form the cornerstones of public health care in Canada.
“The proposed law also helps to move physicians off the failing fee-for-service mode of compensation. This will encourage more team-based approaches to delivering health care,” says Buott.
Seymour added, “No government, or health minister, was willing to take these steps until now. Today is a major victory for the Health Network, our affiliates and the thousands of Nova Scotians who signed postcards and took window signs calling for these changes.”
The Health Network will be reviewing the proposed legislation and discussion paper in detail over the weekend and providing more analysis next week.
Formed in 1996, the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network’s goal is to stop the privatization of the public health care system, ensure high levels of care and create a forum for people and communities to discuss issues in health care. It is comprised of local health committees, community groups, organized labour, faith groups and individuals dedicated to protecting and advancing public health care to include services like pharmacare, dental care and long-term and home care. The Network is political but non-partisan and receives no government funding.
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 our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE