Labour Rejects Panel Report on Bill 37

EDMONTON - Premier Ralph Klein will go down in history as the man who killed Medicare if he goes ahead with recommendations put forward by the so-called blue ribbon panel on Bill 37, says Audrey Cormack, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

"The panel is recommending a new kind of private health care system where the taxpayers still foot the bill, but private hospital operators take home a profit," says Cormack.

She is convinced that the panel completely misinterpreted the problems with Bill 37. "The reason that Bill 37 had to be withdrawn in the first place was the absolute rejection by Albertans of the possibility of for-profit hospitals accessing Medicare dollars," says Cormack. "Now the panel comes back recommending the integration of for-profit hospitals into the public system and, at the same time, a much larger role for private clinics."

"The panel recommendations are totally unacceptable to working people in this Province," says Cormack. "I can assure you that Premier Klein will hear, in no uncertain terms, from our members and thousands of other concerned Albertans, that we do not want Medicare undermined by the American-style intrusion of the profit motive into our health care system."

Cormack wants the government to stop playing around with for-profit health care models. "Albertans opposition to the whole idea is obvious," says Cormack, "now its time for the government to obey the wishes of the people by dropping this ill-conceived notion."

"In fact," she concludes, "the only legislation we want to see right now is a clear and unambiguous ban on for-profit hospitals in Alberta, and an end to private, for-profit institutions accessing public health care dollars."

For further information contact:

Audrey Cormack, President @ 483-3021(wk)/428-9367(hm)/499-6530 (cell)

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