Marchers condemn 2 years of post-Bill 29 health care privatization at VGH

Speakers cite law’s negative impact as health authority continues contracting out

MORE THAN 400 people marched down Vancouver streets on January 28 in opposition to 2 years of health care privatization under Bill 29 — the contract-gutting legislation passed by the B.C. Liberals.

Buoyed by support from passing motorists and pedestrians, the crowd of hospital workers, nurses, community and labour organizations and seniors, gathered at Vancouver Hospital and marched to the offices of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. Speakers condemned the massive contracting out of critical health services and called for an immediate end to health privatization.

A small delegation of VGH health workers succeeded in delivering a letter recounting the dire impacts that the health authority’s contracting out initiatives are having on patient care, workers’ lives and the public health care system in B.C. to the office of VCHA CEO Ida Goodreau, who was unavailable.

The march and rally, planned by the VGH local of the Hospital Employees’ Union, was one of many ways that HEU members across the province marked the passage of Bill 29 two years ago, and the resulting loss of 6,000 health care jobs through cuts, closures and contracting out.