CCPA researchers evaluate BC's health care restructuring

January 24, 2003

(Vancouver) The CCPA has published a policy brief called "Health care restructuring in BC." It considers the implications of the provincial government's plan for health care reorganization, announced on April 23, 2002. The report's three co-authors, Sylvia Fuller, Colleen Fuller and Marcy Cohen, are available for interviews.

Sylvia Fuller, the CCPA's public interest researcher, reviews the overall direction of the restructuring plan, which she says flies in the face of the recently released Romanow report. "Ironically, at the same time as BC is looking for more health care dollars from Ottawa, the provincial government is pursuing health care reorganization that boils down to two main trends: reductions in service, and privatization." She says it is difficult to imagine how these reforms will actually improve health services and outcomes. She examines how BC's health care restructuring shifts costs onto families and employers, and may produce "false economies" down the road.

CCPA research associate Colleen Fuller, in a contribution entitled "Why private medicine is bad for your health," reviews the academic research on private health care. She says those forced to seek care from for-profit centers as a result of privatization may suffer unnecessarily. "For-profit health care is associated with worse health outcomes, including higher mortality. The drive for profits lowers the quality of care patients receive, and for-profit companies provide fewer services at a higher cost."

Marcy Cohen, a CCPA research associate and researcher with the Hospital Employees' Union, looks at the provincial government's dramatic policy reversal on long-term care. She calculates the loss of long-term beds by health region, and outlines the limitations of the government's assisted living strategy.

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