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Follow the money: The growth of private health care in Canada

Red medicare umbrellas in Victoria, January 16, 2012.

Health care reform has been on the agenda of every level of government in the country for the past two decades, not to mention every health and academic institution and think tank. Citizens have been bombarded with messages that the public system is not sustainable without “meaningful” system change. A common theme heard from elected officials is how hard it is to push change, there is just so much public resistance. 



The U.S. health insurance industry's campaign against Michael Moore

Michael Moore, the Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker, makes great movies but they are not generally considered "cliff-hangers." All that might change since a whistle-blower on the Democracy Now! news hour revealed that health insurance executives thought they may have to implement a plan "to push Moore off a cliff." The whistle-blower: Wendell Potter, the former chief spokesman for health insurance giant Cigna. He was quoting from an industry strategy session on how to respond to Moore's 2007 documentary Sicko, a film critical of the U.S. health insurance industry. Potter told me that he is not sure how serious the threat was but he added, ominously, "These companies play to win."


Nova Scotia: Health minister's optimism put to the test

It's been a year and a half since I left off writing about the crucial, politically charged and bureaucratically overwrought subject of health care, awaiting developments with the new government. Recently, I've been looking for signs of where we're at.

August 27, 2014 |
Medicare covers everybody. Everybody benefits. But Medicare opponents are heading to court to try and dismantle it.
| August 26, 2014
| April 9, 2012
Needs No Introduction

Needs No Introduction: The future of Canadian health care

February 3, 2012
| In this edition of Needs No Introduction, Mike Luff, Diana Gibson and Maude Barlow share their thoughts and observations on the current state of health care in Canada and where we might be going.
Length: 51:20

Leading Canada's public healthcare to the free-market guillotine

Art: Elisabeth Belliveau/

National discussion in Canada on the Conservative government's new healthcare financial ultimatum, a take-it-or-leave-it-style proposal, largely revolves around myths. First that financing alone is key to securing a sustainable public healthcare system and second that free-market economic winds will provide sustainable guidelines, via GDP, for viable future government healthcare financing.

A surprise delivery from Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to provincial finance ministers, over a fancy lunch-in at the Chateau Victoria Hotel this past Monday, the plan offers no space for negotiation toward collective national solutions for public healthcare.


Bad medicine from advisory panel at CMA annual meeting

Imagine you're feeling sick. You have an inexplicable pain in your stomach. So you go to your doctor, and she sends you for a test. The test for your stomach pain is inconclusive.

"I think I know what the problem is. And I probably have something I could give you for it," says your doctor. "How about you pay me an extra $50, and then we can discuss it further?"

Most of us would think that's unacceptable. We already pay taxes to finance our universal health care. We would want our doctors to run more tests, give us a diagnosis and write us a prescription.


People's Health Radio

Health care for sale? The health impacts of privatization

June 16, 2011
| Just how public is our public health-care system? We look at the trend of increasing health-care privatization in Canada and B.C., and the health impacts on patients and health-care workers.
Length: 57:14
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