On behalf of the New Brunswick Health Coalition, an organization made of various provincial associations, social groups and unions, we send this invitation to make your opinion known to the New Brunswick Minister of Health in reaction to plans to privatize our public health care system.
Myths and Facts:
"Private companies will help reduce health waiting list" - False! There is a shortage of doctors and nurses in New Brunswick. If doctors are permitted to work in private clinics, they will leave our public system, thus creating a shortage of doctors in the public system. Patients will have to wait longer for health care and waiting lists are going to increase. However, citizens who can afford i twill be able to jump the waiting lists by buying health services in private clinics.
"Hospital operating room rental will bring increased revenues for the province" - Who wil pay? Citizens needing an operation get the service free in the public health care system. Why impose fees on citizens of the province for these services? The minister mentioned the possibility of bringing American patients in the province who would pay for their operation. Surgeons who will operate these patients are going to come from the New Brunswick public system. By quitting the public health system, these surgeons will no longer be available to provide service to New Brunswick citizens, contributing to the downgrading of the current health services we are currently enjoying. While well to do foreign patients will get priority, we will have to wait before being operated and suffer the consequences of lack of care.
"The public system is unsustainable and costs are out of control" - False! Since about 1970, the amount we spend on hospital and physician services (i.e. Medicare) has remained stable at between 4% and 4.5% of GDP. The overall increases in health care are due to higher spending on prescription drugs and private care that are not controlled by the government. By controlling these two sectors, the government could bring its health costs down.
"Private insurance companies should participate in our health care system" - At what price for the citizens of this province? New Brunswick recently went through a crisis about insurance costs in the province. The US system demonstrates that private insurances companies are more concerned about their profit than the health of their customers. Are we willing to pay for health insurance when we are now have health care services which are free and accessible to all?
If you decide to write a letter to the minister, make it public by sending a copy to the media.
You can write to the minister at the following address:
Honourable Michael Murphy
Minister of Health
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton (New Brunswick)
If you need help to write your letter or if want more information about the government privatization plans, please contact:
New Brunswick Health Coalition
c/o Florian Levesque
More information on the health care system: www.healthcoalition.ca/mwte.pdf