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Community Victory! BC provides health coverage for people with maintained status

After rallies, position papers, press releases and an open letter, people with maintained status can breath a sigh of relief. Effective May 1, 2022, the Ministry of Health has announced that the Medical Services Plan (MSP) policy will be updated so individuals with maintained status can access MSP until a decision is made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on their application for extension.

Click here to read the full update from Sanctuary Health.

BC Government funds more for-profit long-term care homes

Recently, the BC Government announced they will contract Kaigo Senior Living to build and operate 90 new for-profit long term care beds in Vernon BC. This is in complete contradiction to their 2020 campaign platform, and we expect more for-profit beds to be announced this year. READ MORE. 


Support healthcare workers

The past two years have put a lot of additional pressures on the health care team. They’re short-staffed and burning out. And with rising costs, they’re falling behind – with too many leaving the jobs they love. Add your voice to the petition to support the whole health care team with safer working conditions and higher wages. 

Attention healthcare workers! Has COVID-19 impacted your mental health?

Researchers from the University of Victoria are asking healthcare workers to fill out a survey as part of a study seeking to better understand the psychological impacts of COVID-19 and lockdown with the aim of creating better supports for them. Click here to complete the survey. 


We can’t wait for a national pharmacare plan | The Star

The federal government’s proposed timeline is not fast enough for Canadians unable to pay for medicines that should be part of any rationally designed health-care system, say Dr. Jane Philpott and Dr. Danielle Martin. READ MORE.

After a five-year fight to lower drug prices, Ottawa’s pledge quietly falls apart  | CBC News

Read Kelly Crowe’s analysis of what was supposed to happen with the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board, what didn’t happen, consequences, and the discouraging power that the pharmaceutical industry holds over Ottawa. READ MORE.


Cambie, Chaoulli, and the Impact on Medicare | Canadian Doctors for Medicare

Register for the webinar on May 24th for a discussion about two of the most important legal battles that public health has faced in Canada.

Public Health News, Updates & Resources

How can we improve health care in BC? | 980 CKNW Edith Machattie, Co-Chair of the BC Health Coalition discusses several ways to improve our public healthcare system.

BCGEU Pans BC Decision to Expand Private Long-Term Care | The Tyee Minister of Health Adrian Dix defends awarding a contract for new beds in Interior Health to a private for-profit company. This after the BC NDP campaigned on a promise to build better, public long-term care homes.

Thousands of British Columbians living in pain as orthopedic surgeons raise the alarm on wait times | CBC News The Ministry of Health announced this month that the second year of the province’s surgical renewal plan saw more completed surgeries than any other single year in BC History. Vancouver Island Health bought two private surgical clinics to increase surgical capacity. Despite these efforts, waitlists continue to be an issue, and researcher Andrew Longhurst says key public solutions have yet to be implemented.

A racial justice agenda for medicare | Policy Options Medicare as it exists today both perpetuates systemic racism and can serve as a tool for racial and social justice. Danyaal Raza, Ritika Goel, and Suzanne Shoush argue that moving toward true universal health care means reconciling racial inequities among the insured and expanding public coverage.

Spotlight: COVID-19 ongoing threat to public and health system

  • BC Human Rights Commissioner urges Public Health Officer to maintain mask mandates, saying that lifting the mask mandate will have disproportionate impact across society.
  • BC’s weekly COVID-19 data reporting leaves the public in the dark about the current Omicron wave.
  • As new long COVID clinics open, hospital rooms are filling up and emergency rooms are overwhelmed by patients who have no access to primary care.
  • Rather than being time to move on from the pandemic, we need to apply key lessons and prepare for a new era of viral spread.