21/03/03

News release
Premier Gordon Campbell and his B.C. Liberal government plan to privizatize hundreds of millions of dollars of health services like housekeeping, laundry and food services.

Web sites of other groups fighting to preserve public services

And the Campbell Liberals have suggested that the private sector should be more involved in providing surgery and other procedures to patients.

But is privatization the right answer for better patient care?"

Support workers are critical to the efficient running of health facilities and to ensuring patient health and safety.

These workers are the front-line in the fight against antibiotic resistant organisms that prey on patients with weakened immune systems. They provide sterile linens for operating rooms and make sure patients on special diets get the right meals.

But private corporations intent on cashing in on health care privatization would replace these skilled and experienced workers and reduce wages to as low as $8 an hour. And that won't improve patient care.

And neither will privatizing hospital care. A recent study by the respected Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that introducing private, for-profit hospitals into the Canadian health care system could increase hospital deaths by as many 2,200 a year.

Over the next few days, we'll be adding more information to betterideas.heu.org so that you can learn about alternatives to privatization that will improve patient care.