Vancouver, February 8, 2023 - Today, a coalition of public health care advocates are calling on Premier David Eby to ensure Canadian Health Transfers (CHT) are invested into the public health care system, not into private, for-profit delivery. The announcement comes at a time when the public health care system is under attack from increasing privatization while patients deal with lack of access to primary care and long wait times for treatments and procedures.
The federal government announced it would increase annual health transfers to the provinces on the condition that funding is allocated to long-term solutions to addressing worker shortages, improving data collection, and reducing surgical backlogs. British Columbia will receive 5 percent increase in funding over the next five years. An additional $2 billion national top-up in CHT funding that will be unrestricted. Currently, the federal government contributes 22 percent of provincial health care budgets. Provincial and territorial leaders have asked the federal government to increase their contribution to 35 percent.
"We believe that the public health care system is essential to the well-being of all patients. It’s imperative that we continue to expand and strengthen investments in the public health care system," said Phoebe Lo Patigdas, a Steering Committee Member of the BC Health Coalition. "Both the federal and provincial governments have an important role to play in ensuring that the public health care system remains strong and effective, and that all patients have access to the care they need."
In order to ensure adequate funding to address the root causes of the health care crisis, the coalition is calling on the B.C. government to accept conditions accompanying increased funding and to ensure all funding is invested into the public system instead of profits for private corporations. This increase in funding would provide a much-needed boost to expand the capacity of the health care system and ensure patients have access to care. Further investment in the private, for-profit delivery of health care services can lead to higher costs, lower quality of care, and drains labour capacity from the public health care system.
"By investing in the public health care system, the provincial government can help to ensure that all citizens have access to essential medical services," said Noal Amir, Campaigner at the BC Health Coalition. "We believe that this is a critical step toward building a more resilient and responsive public health care sector for all patients."
The BC Health Coalition is committed to holding the provincial government accountable on both accepting the conditions of increased CHT funding and that any funding is invested into the public system.
The BC Health Coalition champions a strong public health care system that is there for all of us when we need it. We are a democratic, inclusive and consensus-based community of individuals and organizations that span the province of British Columbia. Together we advocate for evidence-based improvements to our public health care system, stimulate public education on health care issues, and drive positive change to our health care system through campaigns across the province.
For more information:
Noal Amir, Campaigner, BC Health Coalition, [email protected], 604.349.9079