Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Compare and contrast

What a difference five years in opposition can make. Here's Ujjal Dosanjh today:
“You know we stand four square behind the Canada Health Act and we believe if it can be improved and broadened, it should be improved and broadened,” he says, noting that should only happen within the public system. “Health care is not a commercial commodity.”
So how committed was Ujjal Dosanjh to making sure that the public health care system was strengthened back when he was actually in charge of health care on the federal level?
It is not clear how the government would decide when the integrity of the single payer system was threatened, but it would presumably be a matter of political judgment.

Nor is it clear how an informed judgement could be made without full accounting by provinces of how they use federal money.

"I don't think there's enough substance there to ensure any action,"said Mike McBane of the Canadian Health Coalition.

"If he (Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh) was serious, he would make provincial reporting mandatory, and that requires introducing regulations under the Canada Health Act."

Dosanjh said in Vancouver that he will carry out the commitments despite Layton's rejection. He said there is no need for detailed accounting regulations.

The Canada Health Act already stipulates that provinces must provide medically necessary services to all citizens on the same terms and conditions.

"That's a matter of trust and you simply let the provinces have the money and...for the last one year I can tell you they've been generally very good."

But the federal government's willingness to crack down or effectiveness at policing this provision has appeared spotty.

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