Demonstrators protest end of Health Accord

A total of about two dozen health care workers and their supporters took part

Health care workers and their supporters rally in front of Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital on Tuesday

Health care workers and their supporters rally in front of Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital on Tuesday

“When you vote in this year’s federal election, make sure health care is a top priority in your decision.”

That was what Rick Turner, BC Health Coalition and Kamloops Health Coalition chair, said in a statement read out during a demonstration held Tuesday, March 31 in front of Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital.

A total of about two dozen health care workers and their supporters took part in the demonstration, which was held to mark the one-year anniversary of the non-renewal of the Canada Health Accord.

According to Turner, in 2014, rather than renew the accord, the federal finance minister left the provincial health ministers with, “… little more than a memo informing them that in 2017 federal health care transfer payments would drop from six per cent to three per cent.”

The funding formula also was changed, meaning those in poorer provinces no longer can be assured of receiving the same quality of care as those living in richer parts of the country.

“If you calculate the loss on a per capita basis, this mean that our riding, the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, would lose $137 million over 10 years,” the health coalition spokesperson wrote.

 

Turner also called for a national pharmacare plan. Buying pharmaceuticals in bulk would reduce administrative costs and ensure everyone received the prescription drugs they need to stay alive.