The Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) released a statement early Tuesday March 24th calling on all levels of the Canadian government to work together to reclaim and increase the capacity of the public health care system.

CHC states that now more than ever, we need a universal, public health care system that puts patients before profits, that prioritizes the health of everyone living in Canada and that honours and respects the principles of the Canada Health Act.

In the statement, the CHC stressed the importance of resisting corporate interests trying to profit during these times. 

The solution is not privatization. Instead, we should be strengthening universal health care and our collective ability to care for one another.

The coalition which includes Alternate North (NWT), is urging authorities to;

  • Address existing health inequities by removing barriers to access and scaling up services for marginalized communities
  • Restore capacity in public hospitals by reopening facilities and beds that have been closed due to funding cuts and downsizing,
    • Expand capacity under public and non-profit hospital governance
  • Improve supports for health care workers through
    • Adopting the strongest protective standards.
    • Enhancing recruitment and retention.
    • Giving workers the resources and equipment they need.
  • Ensure that all services are available free of charge and delivered publicly including but not limited to
    • testing, vaccination, hospital stays and telehealth.

The CHC is asking those in charge of public health to follow the lead of Spain and bring for-profit health care facilities under public control to enable a rapid and streamlined response in the public interest. 

As governments ramp up efforts to address the current crisis, Health Coalitions across Canada are calling for them to resist privatization and to uphold the foundational principles of equity and compassion that underlie Canada’s public health care system.

The statement ends saying that we cannot allow this crisis to be used to dismantle universal, public health care in Canada. Instead, we must renew our commitment to a system based not on profit, but instead on the shared belief that health care is a human right.

The statement was signed by the following Health Coalitions; 

Alternatives North (NWT) – BC Health Coalition – Canadian Health Coalition – Coalition solidarité santé (Québec) – Friends of Medicare (Alberta)

Health Coalition of Newfoundland & Labrador – Manitoba Health Coalition – Nova Scotia Health Coalition – Ontario Health Coalition – PEI Health Coalition