Margaret Crawford (left) and Theresa Buchner, directors from the Society for the Protection and Care of Seniors, are encouraging the public to attend “Save Canada’s Public Health Care” event by the BC Health Coalition, featuring co-chair presenter Rick Turner. (Sheri Regnier photo)

‘Save Canada’s Public Health Care’ presentation Wednesday in Trail

Representative from BC Health Coalition will speak at Trail United Church

Just because a landmark lawsuit about Canada’s public health care has fallen out of headlines, that doesn’t mean local senior advocates are letting Dr. Brian Day fall by the wayside, or his bid for private pay medical services.

This is a critical case for the protection of the country’s universal health care system, the outcome will affect every Canadian for generations to come, states the Society for the Protection and Care of Seniors (SPCS).

“We advocate for seniors, but I don’t think this is just a seniors’ issue,” says society director Theresa Buchner. “Myself, I’ve been retired for four years, and there are many people that are either just retired or coming into retirement … We are all getting to that age group, maybe not right now, but in the next 10 or 20 years we are going to need more medical aid and we are going to be a demand on the medical system,” she warned.

“If Brian Day wins, it’s going to make it worse for all of us, he will take down the Canadian medical system.”

Day, physician-owner of Vancouver’s for-profit Cambie Surgery Centre, is a leading proponent of privatized health care. He launched a constitutional challenge in 2009 that went to court last September, claiming the provincial health legislation limits for-profit delivery of medical services.

In a nutshell, if Day wins his case, a two-tiered medical system would come into play. The BC Health Coalition states, “He’ll open the floodgates to the US-style system that relies on private insurance and allows providers to set any price on care that the market will allow.”

With the case currently muddled in the legal system, the Greater Trail society and United Steelworkers locals 480 and 9705 are encouraging the public to attend an update about the trial on June 14.

(Three community sponsors in Nelson are hosting the talk in Nelson on June 13, at 7 p.m. in the Legion Hall)

“Save Canada’s Public Health Care” begins at 7 p.m. in the Trail United Church. The event will open with a presentation by Rick Turner from the BC Health Coalition and wind up with a public Q &A.

“A period of time has gone by with no real mention of Dr. Brian Day,” said Buchner. “We encourage people to come, listen and ask questions,” she emphasized.

“Because if we go in that direction, health care will become astronomically unaffordable for most people … it will have an immediate effect on seniors, so as seniors we are taking on this role, but it’s going to affect everyone in the future.”

Margaret Crawford, also a SPCS director, is an unwavering advocate for universal health care, however she acknowledged there are two sides to every story.

“Looking at other side of it, by having private care clinics like Dr. Day’s, supposedly that allows people to have freedom of choice,” she said. “If they can afford it, they can go to his clinic.”

The reality is, it’s not going to happen like that, Crawford said.

“We are going to end up with a two-tiered system and we’ll get even less (money) into public health … we need to have the public system step up to the plate and put the money into public health care.”

Crawford’s insight into the medical system is unique and far reaching – her father was (deceased 1976) Trail physician and internist Dr. Daniel James McGregor Crawford, better known as “Dr. Greg.”

She has witnessed first hand how far the Canadian medical system has come since her father began a 40-plus year practice beginning in the 1930s and ending in 1972.

“Initially they didn’t have public health care – my father was paid in chickens and grappa,” Crawford began.

“I think of my father’s generation and how hard they fought for universal medical care,” she recalled. “I used to see letters where they were lobbying for it, and trying to stress the importance of it.

“So it’s worrisome to see us goes backward and be forced to buy the United States-type health insurance, which is cost prohibitive.”

This Brian Day case could be the game changer, Crawford said.

“That’s the importance of really monitoring what’s happening because it will seriously impact us all if it passes,” she shared. “Rick (Turner) has been here to speak on the same topic just before the court case started, he’s a great speaker and well worth hearing,” Crawford concluded.

“The trouble is we haven’t heard recent updates, there’s not much in the news- so this will give us all an update as to where things stand and where we are headed.”

SPCS is a non-profit, volunteer based seniors’ health care advocacy group located in Greater Trail and the West Kootenay. The group’s mission is to advocate and pursue options for adequate, affordable, accessible and safe continuing care resources and services for seniors within their immediate communities by advocating, communicating, disseminating information and educating.

Just Posted

Senior curling provincials setting up for exciting finish

Standings tight as Senior curling teams push for provincial playoffs

Rescued snowmobilers ill-prepared for emergency, Castlegar RCMP say

Two men rescued Wednesday night were not ready for overnight in back country

Police share more details on occupants and suspicious van in Fruitvale

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school on Feb. 19

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Parity prevails at BC Senior Curling championship

Teams go toe-to-toe in second Draw at the BC Senior Curling Championship

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Most Read