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A Path Forward: Human rights-based guiding principles for BC’s mental health law and services

BC’s current Mental Health Act lags behind similar acts in other provinces mainly in that it does not include any principles to guide interpretation and application of the Act. Many people with lived and living experience of involuntary treatment, as well as family members and personal supporters, understand the purpose of the Mental Health Act as a tool of control, compliance, or punishment. Our friends at Health Justice have released a report that proposes human-rights based guiding principles for BC’s mental health law. Read more HERE


Accountability for health care funding to provinces

The provinces need more funding for health care from the federal government. At the same time, they must agree to standards and accountability for how that increased funding is used. Canadians need accountability for health care dollars but the provinces are blocking any measures for accountability. It’s time let your MPs and the federal government know that they need to step up to push for accountability measures from the provinces. Take action with the Canadian Health Coalition HERE.


B.C. is right to take on Telus Health for putting family doctors behind a paywall

Improvements in our public health care system will not come from corporate profiteering. Instead, we need to be investing into the public health care system so it has the personnel and financial resources it needs to provide care for all. We also need to invest in different models of providing primary care such as Community Health Centres. Read more HERE from our allies at Canadian Doctors for Medicare.

Public Health News, Updates & Resources

B.C. Medical Services Commission files court injunction against Telus Health over fee-based program The B.C. Medical Services Commission’s injunction application, filed in December, claimed LifePlus is violating the extra billing provisions of the province’s Medicare Protection Act.

Increasing doctor pay in B.C. could help the shortage, but history suggests otherwise Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that increasing doctor pay will result in better primary-care access. In fact, past experience suggests it may make the shortage worse.

Is Doug Ford trying to privatize healthcare? Hear Natalie Mehra from the Ontario Health Coalition talk about why Doug Ford’s plan to privatize health care in Ontario is a fatal threat to our public health care system.

“Out Of Control”: Dozens of Telehealth Startups Sent Sensitive Health Information to Big Tech Companies A joint investigation by STAT and The Markup of 50 direct-to-consumer telehealth companies like WorkIt found that quick, online access to medications often comes with a hidden cost for patients: Virtual care websites were leaking sensitive medical information they collect to the world’s largest advertising platforms.

Doug Ford’s Conservative Ontario Government is Hellbent on Privatizing the Province’s Hospitals Ford trudges toward health care privatization on multiple fronts, suggesting this will save us. Notably, the last Progressive Conservative (PC, Ford’s party) government claimed in the 1990s that shutting hospitals and hospital beds would save us. Thousands of beds were shut and now we have a capacity crisis, very high beds occupancy, and a lack of hospital staff.

Virtual care has a place — in the public system With patients struggling to access primary health care because of chronic understaffing and underfunding, virtual care companies see an opportunity to make a profit.

Indigenous health in federal, provincial, and territorial health policies and systems The organization of Indigenous health care is widely recognized as a patchwork, loosely woven together by legislation, policies, and treaties between and across jurisdictions. This report provides a thorough exploration into the patchwork to facilitate cross-jurisdictional understanding, while narrowing in on policy improvements, persistent gaps, and areas warranting further investigation.

Ontario does not need more for-profit surgery This is why the Ontario government’s announcement on Monday that it would address the issue by moving more surgeries to for-profit providers is the wrong approach. The decision will cause even more strain in the province’s health care system, and will be less beneficial for both patients and taxpayers.

As Ontario looks to private health care, B.C. reinvests in its public system The ability to monitor and enforce extra-billing or upselling is a concern that extends to Ontario’s new plan, Mr. Longhurst said, arguing that the cost to the province to ensure proper compliance would be more than increasing surgical capacity in the public system. “The issues around upselling are very real. We know this is going on and so the more you expand that sector, is there even the enforcement and administrative capacity within Ontario’s Ministry of Health to be able to proactively audit and enforce?” he said.

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