EVENTS: ACTION ALERT! Mar. 31 - End of Our Health Accord?

EVENTS: ACTION ALERT! Mar. 31 - End of Our Health Accord?

Postby Oscar » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:55 am

Join us March 31 for National Day of Action for a new Health Accord

We are sounding the alarm to alert Canadians that the expiry of the Health Accord means the end of federal leadership in health care and cuts of $36 billion to health transfers over 10 years. - By Canadian Health Coalition

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National Day of Action for a new Health Accord March 31st, 2014 - Action Tool Kit:

[ http://healthcoalition.ca/March31/ ]

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What is the Health Accord?

[ http://healthcoalition.ca/what-is-the-health-accord/ ]

A Health Accord is an agreement between the provinces, territories and federal government. It provides the provinces with stable funding and sets national standards.

The current Health Accord expires March 31st, 2014 and the federal government is refusing to renegotiate it.

Why do we need a Health Accord?

The Accord was important in promoting national standards and providing stable funding after deep cuts in the 1990s.

The First Ministers recommitted to the Canada Health Act and its requirements:

- public administration,

- universal access, comprehensive coverage, accessibility without extra charges or discrimination, and

- portability across provinces.

The Accord also a set of common goals around wait times, home care, prescription drugs, and team-based primary care.

On wait times, the accord has been successful: eight out of 10 Canadians are getting treatment within the timelines set in 2005 for the five chosen procedures. We need to do more, but progress has been made. In other areas (home care, drugs, and primary care) progress has been poor because the governments set only loose goals, with no financial strings attached.

What is the problem?

The Harper government said the 2004 Health Accord would not be renewed when it expires next March. This lack of federal leadership in health care will lead to 14 different health care systems. Access will depend on where you live and your ability to pay.

In December 2011, the Harper government announced a major cut to the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) of $36 billion over 10 years beginning in 2017.

In addition, the equalization portion of the CHT will be eliminated in 2014, which will reduce transfers by another $16.5 billion over the next five years. We have an agingpopulation and an increasing demand for health care services at present. Unless federal funding is stable and adequate, our cherished public health care system is in danger.

Further elements of the Harper government’s plan to dismantle national Medicare include the abandonment of the National Pharmaceutical Strategy in the 2004 Accord.

According to the Health Council of Canada, the pharmaceutical strategy was integral to the renewal and sustainability of the entire health care system. Instead of insisting on value for money for prescription drugs, the Harper government agreed to extend patent protection for brand-name drugs and increase drug costs to Canadians by between $850 million and $1.6 billion a year.

What are we doing?
[ http://healthcoalition.ca/March31/ ]

We are organizing a National Day of Action March 31st to alert Canadians to the end of federal leadership in health care and cuts of $36 billion to health transfers over 10 years.

There is a need for federal leadership to negotiate a new 10-year Health Accord with provincial and territorial governments to secure the health care needs of citizens in all regions and into the future.

This accord would include:

- A Continuing Care Plan that integrates home, facility-based long-term, respite & palliative care;

- A universal public drug plan that provides equitable access to safe and appropriate medication; and

- Adequate and stable federal funding including a 6 per cent escalator.
Last edited by Oscar on Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
Oscar
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On March 31, sound the alarm for public health care!

Postby Oscar » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:59 am

On March 31, sound the alarm for public health care!

[ http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/council ... ealth-care ]

By Adrienne Silnicki | February 28, 2014

We are facing an important moment in the history of public health care. The Health Accord -- an agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments that sets federal funding for health care, and ensures all Canadians can access good quality services regardless of where they live -- will expire on March 31.

To date, the Harper government has refused to meet with premiers to negotiate a new accord. Instead, the federal government plans to cut $36 billion over 10 years from public health care and walk away from its responsibilities to ensure equal access to all Canadians.

Join us on March 31 for a National Day of Action!


We are sounding the alarm about the federal government's funding cuts to wake Canadians up to what this means for our health-care services. Removing $36 billion from our health-care system will put an end to national standards. It will lead to the fragmentation of services across the country and that increasingly, access to care will depend on where you live.

We are asking people to organize actions in their community on March 31 to speak out against these cuts and to demand that the Harper government negotiate a new health accord. Any action, big or small, is important! You could hold a rally, distribute pamphlets or organize a public forum. Some community event planning is already underway. Some community event planning is already underway. See if your community is on the list (Please Note: This link may be temporarily unavailable. See a temporary list below.) and find contact information for local organizers.

Be sure to let us know about your National Day of Action activities so we can highlight them on our website. Fill out this form or e-mail your event details to webmaster@canadians.org. Don't forget to check out our resources and publications that you can use to help inform people and raise awareness. Send an e-mail to inquiries@canadians.org if you would like to order materials for your event.

We're looking forward to raising our voices with people across the country to sound the alarm on the Harper government's attack on public health care. Together, we can strengthen public health care for generations to come.

It's time to #Stand4Medicare

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Health Coalition
Stan Rice, jsrice@sasktel.net, (306) 280-5315 or (306) 382-2865
Press conference or rally

Regina, Saskatchewan Health Coalition
Stan Rice, jsrice@sasktel.net, (306) 280-5315 or (306) 382-2865
Press conference

Toronto, Artists for Healthcare
David Craig, davidscraig@rogers.com
Evening concert at Trinity St. Paul's United Church

Orillia, Ontario Health Coalition
Emily Smith van Beek, ohc@sympatico.ca, 416-441-2502
Rally at noon at office of Bruce Santon, Conservative MP for Simcoe North
575 West Street South, Willow Court Plaza, Unit 12 Orillia, ON L3V 7N6

Moncton, New Brunswick Health Coalition
Serge Landry, CLC/CTC, slandry@clc-ctc.ca
(506) 851-7088 or (506) 871-8496

Fredericton, New Brunswick Health Coalition
Daniel Légère, CUPE/SCFP, dlegere@cupe.ca

Saint John, New Brunswick Health Coalition
Jean Claude Basque, Common Front for Social Justice - Front commun pour la justice sociale, basquejc@nb.sympatico.ca, (506) 389-1578 or (506) 862-9182

Charlottetown, PEI Health Coalition
Mary Boyd, maryboyd@live.ca, (902) 892-9074
Public demonstration

Summerside, PEI Health Coalition
Mary Boyd, maryboyd@live.ca, (902) 892-9074
Presenting postcards to Conservative MP Gail Shea

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia Citizen's Health Care Network
Mary Wright, wrightmary123@gmail.com, (902) 527-0766

Halifax, Nova Scotia Citizen's Health Care Network
James Hutt, James@nshealthcoalition.ca, (902) 406-9422
Oscar
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March 31: CUPE: Day of action to protect health care!

Postby Oscar » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:41 pm

March 31: CUPE: Participate in the Day of action to protect health care!

On March 31, the 10-year Health Accord negotiated between the federal and provincial governments in 2004 will expire.

The federal Conservatives have refused to negotiate a new Accord with the provinces. Worse, they announced a $36 billion cut in health care transfers over the next ten years.

All across the country, citizens and groups will gather to protest these cuts and call on the federal government to show some leadership in order to protect and expand our public health care system.

Find an event in your community, and join with us on March 31.
[ http://healthcoalition.ca/Map/ ]

Be part of it! Stop the cuts and demand that governments protect, strengthen and expand our public health services.

For more information, here’s a detailed backgrounder on the Health Accord.
[ http://cupe.ca/health-care-public-solut ... lth-accord ]

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CUPE backgrounder on the Health Accord

[ http://cupe.ca/health-care-public-solut ... lth-accord ]

Dec 3, 2012 09:39 AM

What is the Health Accord?

The Health Accord is a legal agreement between the federal and provincial/territorial [1] governments on health care funding. Running from 2004 to 2014, this 10-year plan recommitted leaders to the Canada Health Act, set wait time and other goals, and increased health care funding by 6 per cent each year.

Why is the Health Accord important?

The accord provided stable funding after deep cuts in the 1990s. It has brought the federal government's cash share of provincial health spending up to 20 per cent, which is not the 50 per cent it covered at the start of Medicare, but better than the 10 per cent of 1998, before the first health accord.

The accord is also important because it promoted national standards. The Prime Minister and Premiers recommitted to the Canada Health Act and its requirements: public administration, universal access, comprehensive coverage, accessibility without extra charges or discrimination, and portability across provinces. It committed the federal and provincial governments to a set of common goals around wait times, home care, prescription drugs, and team-based primary care.

On wait times, the accord has been successful: eight out of 10 Canadians are getting treatment within the timelines set in 2005, for the five chosen procedures. We need to do more, but progress has been made.

In the other areas (home care, drugs, and primary care), progress has been poor because the governments set only loose goals, with no financial strings attached.

Now, Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't want even loose goals — in fact, he's refusing to negotiate another accord.

What is Harper’s plan for health care?

Harper will cut health care funding and let provinces go their own way, with no national goals or commitment to uphold national standards. This will lead to 13 different health care systems and more privatization.

Without notice, without discussion, the federal government announced a take it or leave it health care funding plan in December 2011.

That plan will keep federal health care funding on its current track until 2017, at which point cuts will kick in. Instead of increasing at 6 per cent a year, the health transfer will be tied to economic growth, with a 3 per cent floor.

The federal government is also changing how it divides the health transfer between provinces, leaving some worse off. Starting in 2014, the transfer will be cash only (still based on population), instead of being a mix of tax and cash points, adjusted for each province's wealth. Backtracking on an earlier promise, the federal government will not fully protect provinces that lose funding.

Together, these two changes to the Canada Health Transfer mean $36 billion (8.3 per cent) less in federal funding for health care over 10 years. Over time, the federal government's share of health care spending will shrink to a small fraction of its original 50 per cent contribution – down to 18.6 per cent by 2024 alone.

Many federal Conservatives would like to get out of funding health care altogether. Some prominent Conservatives propose eliminating transfers and equalization payments, instead turning over revenues from the federal Goods and Services Tax to the provinces. Without the clout of federal cash transfers, the federal government would be unable to uphold the Canada Health Act and national standards. As University of Ottawa law professor Errol Mendes put it: cash transfers from the federal government “are the only potential carrot and stick available … to encourage nation-wide social development and promote equity between the provinces.”

Stephen Harper has already encouraged provinces to rely more on the for-profit sector to deliver health care, stating for example: "We also support the exploration of alternative ways to deliver health care. Moving toward alternatives, including those provided by the private sector, is a natural development of our health care system."

Already, the federal government is ignoring violations of the Canada Health Act, allowing for-profit health care to grow and doing next to nothing about user fees, extra billing and other violations of Medicare rights.

The federal government is also pursuing a trade agreement with the European Union that would increase prescription drug costs by $2.8 billion a year and open Medicare up to trade challenges by multinational corporations.

Unchallenged, the Harper Conservatives will further weaken Medicare. Their plans would lead to:

Increased for-profit delivery, meaning higher costs and worse quality;

Continued high inflation in drug and seniors’ care costs;

No plan to give community care the boost it urgently needs;

Cuts to Medicare, meaning two-tier care; and,

Further weakening of the Canada Health Act and national standards.

What are the privatizers doing?

Groups that profit from health care have laid the groundwork over the last few years by framing Medicare as unsustainable and outmoded. Corporate-backed think tanks push privatization as the solution.

The Fraser Institute calls for a five-year moratorium on the Canada Health Act to “give provinces freedom and encourage experimentation with alternative financing schemes.”

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute says the federal government should cut the Canada Health Transfer and allow provinces “the maximum amount of flexibility to design, regulate and provide health care.”

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy wants more private sector involvement in health care financing and delivery.

Among the major backers of a new Conference Board program, the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care, are insurance companies, banks, big pharma, and medical products manufacturers — all of whom want a bigger share of the health care market.

What does CUPE propose?

CUPE is calling on the federal government to:


Negotiate with the provinces and territories a new 10-year Health Accord with stable and adequate funding, including at minimum the 6 per cent escalator;

Enforce the Canada Health Act, including the ban on user fees and extra billing, and correct gaps in monitoring and reporting under the Act;
Implement a national strategy to reduce healthcare associated infections, with dedicated funding for microbiological cleaning standards, more in-house cleaning staff, lower hospital occupancy, and mandatory public reporting;

Promote access to effective primary health care with funding for new and expanded Community Health Centres;

Create a national continuing care program (residential and home/community care), with dedicated transfers financed from general revenue and Canada Health Act standards plus minimum staffing and phasing out of for-profit delivery; and

Establish a national pharmacare program, and exempt health care from trade agreements, starting with CETA.

[1]In this backgrounder, for brevity, we use “provinces” to mean “provinces and territories.”

For more on these changes and why they are needed, visit
[ cupe.ca/health-care/public-solutions ]

BACKGROUNDER:
[ http://cupe.ca/updir/Health_Accord_essentials.pdf ]
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