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This week’s edition of who is saying what about public health care in Canada includes reaction to the Canadian Medical Association’s town halls on health care, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Union’s new study on why nurses are leaving their profession, Manitoba Conservative posturing on health care during an election campaign, and more.

Beware of two-tier health care

“I am surprised and disgusted to hear the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is sponsoring cross country town halls to ask ‘if there’s a greater role to play for the private sector.’ We’ve been there before, but perhaps the CMA president is too young to remember the era when people died because they could not afford to pay for doctors or hospitals… I remember a 6-year old girl who died of an intestinal blockage. She was the light of her poor mother’s life and dead due to poverty. Is this what CMA members would want for their own small child? Is this what they want for Canadians? Medicare has saved lives. I vote for medicare and a one-tier system,” writes Kate Chung in a letter to the editor to the Toronto Star, September 13, 2023

Canada’s nurses union launch study on the draining away of nurses

“We have to make our working conditions satisfying to our nurses, so they stay … committed in your community. Our education system is helping educate these nurses. We need them in all our communities. And employers should be working with their unions to improve the working condition, improve the workload so they stay as permanent employees,” said Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions to City News CalgarySeptember 14, 2023

Health care now on Conservative agenda in Manitoba election. What about the cutbacks?

“Tis is the same government that has cut nearly $40-million from health-care recruitment and retention over the past several years. They cut the rural physician retention fund, cut and underspent the general physician retention fund and they’ve denied nurse practitioners the ability to even access the recruitment and retention fund. This is another announcement to distract Manitobans from their failed record on health care,” said NDP health critic Uzoma Asagware, following Conservatives’ funding promise, Winnipeg Free Press, September 19, 2023

Memories of COVID and long-term care – Daycare E-coli outbreak raises familiar questions

“Conservative governments like (Alberta Premier Danielle) Smith’s talk endlessly about ‘cutting red tape’ that they believe hampers businesses. Has it gone too far in Alberta? Do we have enough public health inspectors to get the job done? And what about the fact that the daycares with the most cases are for-profit facilities? During the pandemic residents of private, for-profit long-term-care facilities were more likely to die of COVID-19 that people in public or non-profit facilities,” said Gillian Steward, Calgary-based columnist, The Toronto Star, September 19, 2023

Coalition for Indigenous rights calls for training in health facilities

“Hospitals and other healthcare facilities must ensure that nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals have the training necessary to uphold the minimum standards of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in all interactions with Indigenous patients,” declared the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in a statement, September 13, 2023

Tributes to Monique Bégin, champion of Canada’s public health care system

“Women cabinet ministers were treated incredibly badly by the press and their own colleagues. (As federal health minister) she could talk health economics and systems but she could also talk about the real experiences of health care for most people,” said Ottawa writer and journalist Charlotte Gray, The Globe and Mail, September 11, 2023.

Lawsuit in Quebec over COVID-19 deaths

“There was a plan in place since 2006, a road map of what was supposed to be done to prepare the public health-care system for a pandemic, and this plan included a number of measures that could be put in place to protect vulnerable people. What we are alleging here is that if this plan had been activated, as it should have been in January 2020, we would probably have avoided the outbreaks that we have seen in (long-term care centres),” said Montreal lawyer Patrick Martin-Ménard to CBC News, September 18, 2023.

“Enhanced measures”: What’s that?

“Enhanced monitoring and infection prevention and control measures to prevent further transmission of COVID-19 are considered in some non-outbreak circumstances, such as when: severity of illness amongst vaccinated patients/residents suggests circulation of a variant that causes more severe illness; aAfacility has low COVID-19 vaccination coverage among patients/residents; there is an increased number of COVID-19 cases on the unit,” stated BC Health Ministry, CBC News, September 13, 2023.

Health ministers to meet in P.E.I. October 11-12

“Some provinces said they look forward to talking with their counterparts about the best way to stem the shortage of health workers that continues to cause emergency room closures and treatment delays across the country — and, of course, to ask the federal government for more money,” reported Bay Today on September 18, 2023