For this 2020 provincial election, we need your help keeping candidates accountable on removing profit from seniors' care. Below are some key questions you can ask candidates during the election:
1. What is your position on the need for a comprehensive publicly provided health care system?
2. What is your position on access by some seniors to private medically-necessary surgical care based on ability to pay?
3. Do you support the provision by the BC government of dental care and hearing aids to low income seniors?
4. Do your party support and work towards a national universal Pharmacare program?
Background: For-profit Seniors' Care
The reality is that seniors tend to develop a number of chronic conditions as they age and so seniors are proportionately higher users of physician services (almost double that of non-seniors), hospitals, continuing care services and prescription drugs according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and the BC Seniors Advocate.
Another reality is that some seniors are living in deep poverty. BC had the worst poverty rate among seniors in Canada and the number of seniors living in poverty in BC had doubled since 2000, according to a 2018 study by SPARC BC. The SPARC study found that 16 per cent of single seniors and 9 per cent of senior couples lived in poverty in BC.
Dental care and hearing aids may be an unaffordable luxury for these seniors and polls suggest that, together with other low income Canadians, they may also have to ration their prescribed medications.
A central principle of BCHC's work is that timely and equal access to needed health care services is a fundamental right of all citizens, should be publicly-provided, and not depend on their ability to pay. In support of that right, BCHC intervened in the Dr Day/Cambie private surgery clinics case in the BC Supreme Court. Dr Day argued that citizens' access to private-pay medically necessary surgical services was a choice and a Constitutional right.
The broader implications of a win for Dr Day and private surgery clinics is that a dual private-public system of health care could be legal in Canada. In September 2020, the BC Supreme Court judge in the Dr Day/Cambie clinics case ruled against the private surgery clinics and the private provision of medically necessary surgical care in BC. The decision has since been appealed by Dr Day and may end up in the Supreme Court of Canada.
You can download a PDF to print containing the questions and information above by clicking HERE.
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Other ways you can share the information:
- Distribute the information below and questions above to each candidate in your riding. Share their responses in local newspapers, on your website, through social media sites, and/or in a mailing to your organization’s membership.
- Most ridings will be holding virtual Town Halls and Public Forums where candidates can be provided with information and asked questions on the issues. Because participants are usually limited to the number of questions they can ask, it may be necessary to identify in advance which issues are your priorities.
- Provide the information to your contact list (members, supporters, friends) and encourage them to get in touch with their candidates by email, by telephone, or in person