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Save public health care system before it's too late

August 14, 2014 | Nancy Czignany

Alberni Valley Times

Beginning Sept. 8, the biggest challenge, to date, to Canada's medicare will be heard in British Columbia's Supreme Court. If successful, our public healthcare system will crumble across the country.

The constitutional challenge is being led by Dr. Brian Day who operates the private forprofit Cambie Street Clinic in Vancouver.

Dr. Day believes that the defining principle of medicare - access to healthcare - should be based on need, not the patient's ability to pay. If he succeeds in court, Dr. Day would further open the way to an American user-pay-style of healthcare in Canada.

We must not let this happen. What would this mean to us and our families? The impact would be felt in many ways:

1. Doctors would be able to set any price they wish on their services.

2. Expensive private insurance would become necessary. In the US, the average cost of insurance for a family of four is $23,215 per year.

3. Families would be subjected to greater financial instability. In the US, three out of five personal bankruptcies are healthcare related and 69 per cent of those declaring bankruptcy were insured at the time.

4. Wait times in the public system will increase as more and more doctors are siphoned off into the more lucrative for-profit system.

Is this the future that you envision for yourself, your family and future generations?

To learn more, visit savemedicare.ca.

Nancy Czigany

Port Alberni

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