Health Coalition calls on Canadian Medical Association to follow the evidence, not profit, by recommitting to an improved public health care system

[(Vancouver] November 23, 2023 - Today, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is hosting a town hall at the Vancouver Convention Centre to discuss public-private health care partnerships as part of a cross-country series.

At 2:15pm after the conclusion of the CMA event, public health care advocates representing physicians, front-line health care workers, and researchers will hold a press conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre outside of the event space. 


The BC Health Coalition and supporters of public health care will attend the town hall as a delegation to remind the CMA that the evidence shows the best way to improve our public health care system is to move away from for-profit delivery. “The evidence is clear on for-profit care delivery,” said Usman Mushtaq, BC Health Coalition Coordinator. “It costs more to the public, is associated with lower quality of care and worse health outcomes, and increases – rather than reduces – wait times.”

Our health care system is in crisis. We’re in urgent need of public system reform and investments that expand and improve public health care such as improving primary care access by creating community health centres, streamlining how patients are referred for specialist care and surgery, and expanding team-based care models. This town hall hosted by the CMA is not a step in the direction British Columbians need.

Speakers include:

Usman Mushtaq, BC Health Coalition (MC)

Dr. Saad Ahmed, Board Member of Canadian Doctors for Medicare

Andrew Longhurst, SFU health care policy researcher

Tuesday Andrich, BC Health Coalition Co-chair

All speakers will be available for media interviews.



“The CMA should look at the evidence around the world when it comes to profit-driven health care: privatization doesn’t work. It didn’t work in Australia where it made wait time worse and it didn’t work in the United Kingdom where the introduction of investor-owned private surgery centres in the early 2000s led to worse mortality and morbidity in the public system.” 

Saad Ahmed, Family Physician and Board Member of Canadian Doctors for Medicare


"The CMA is breathing life into the 'zombie' idea that greater for-profit involvement will fix what ails health care. And yet, increasing access to high-quality care depends on the availability of qualified staff which is not magically increased by the addition of profit. Provinces that have experimented with greater for-profit delivery have the longest procedure wait times and most unlawful extra-billing –– while also costing taxpayers more than the same services delivered on a non-profit basis."

Andrew Longhurst, SFU health care policy researcher


"For 20 years, the previous Liberal government contracted out sectors of our health care system to the for-profit sector leaving our health care system fragmented. The current government has taken action to reverse this damage such as bringing back support service workers into the public sector in acute care settings, levelling up wages for workers in for-profit long-term care sites during the pandemic, and buying private surgical clinics and MRI facilities to add capacity to the public system. Yet more can be done to ensure a strong, fully public health care system is there for all of us."

Tuesday Andrich, BC Health Coalition Co-chair



Usman Mushtaq, Coordinator - BC Health Coalition

604 379-3600, [email protected]


About the BC Health Coalition:

The BC Health Coalition is a provincial network of individuals and organizations from across B.C. who champion a strong public health care system. 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.