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Stand up for medicare this summer!

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December 2012 Medicare Lobbyists on Parliament Hill

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What's stopping Canada from becoming more of a patchwork health-care system where some provinces or territories can care for their residents more than others? At this point, nothing.

Canada's Health Accords which tie national benchmarks and standards to dollars from the federal government to the provinces and territories, is the only method government has to ensure all Canadians get the best quality of care regardless of where they live.

With the 2014 Health Accord in jeopardy, Canada may soon have a patchwork system health-care coverage with provinces and territories covering different health-care needs with varying quality and vastly different wait times. The pan-Canadian health-care system, as we've come to think of it, will be no more.

The only way to stop this from happening is to have a 2014 Health Accord which sets national standards on care and ties benchmarks for wait times to the money that gets transferred from the federal government to provinces and territories (the Canada Health Transfer).

Traditionally, a Health Accord is also a time for governments to expand public health care to cover new services, like a national drug plan, home and community care, vision and dental care. Without an Accord, Canadians will have a much more difficult time trying the expand public health care so that all Canadians get their medical needs covered, regardless of where they live or what stage of life they are in.

The Council of Canadians and our medicare allies have been educating Canadians on what opportunities the negotiation of a Health Accord will afford us and at the same time we've been pressuring our provincial/territorial representatives to stand up to Harper and demand that he negotiate a 2014 Health Accord.

July 24-26 will be our last opportunity to show the Harper government and our premiers that we're serious about protecting, strengthening and expanding medicare through a 2014 Health Accord. Please join us in Niagara-on-the-Lake, July 24 and 25 to show that there is tremendous support for a Health Accord!

We have lots of events organized to encourage discussion, to learn and share with one another, and to re-envision what type of pan-Canadian public health care system we could have. **Some of these details are subject to change. So please watch our website and this blog for updates!**

Shadow Summit: Wednesday, July 24 10:30-5 p.m. and Thursday, July 25 9-11a.m. (rally begins at 11a.m.)

The Shadow Summit will include presentations and workshops by several groups including the Council of Canadians on Canada's health care systems past, present, and future. We'll have workshops on lobbying, expanding public health care, the privatization agenda, home and community care, the social determinants of health, pharmacare and long-term care.

On Thursday, come and hear from American insurance whistle-blowers about what Canada's health care future could look like if we continue along the path of privatization.

Wednesday, July 24, 6-8 p.m.

After a full day of workshops, come and relax with Maude and a Movie! Maude Barlow will be joining us in the park (rain location to be announced) to enjoy a medicare movie. What better way to re-energize for the rally the next day then to spend a relaxed evening with incredible and inspiring company!

Mass Rally to Uphold National Public Medicare & win a Renewed Health Accord: Thursday July 25, 11 a.m.

Come join thousands of us in the streets of Niagara-on-the-Lake for what's sure to be a fun and lively rally to save our public health care. Numbers speak louder than words! We need all of you to protect public health care!

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