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Confederation of Canadian Unions' (CCU) Brief to the Hall Commission

Publisher:  The Confederation of Canadian Unions' (CCU) Ontario Council, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1980  
Resource Type:  Article

Abstract:  The Confederation of Canadian Unions' (CCU) Ontario Council claims that increasing health premiums, deterrent charges, opting out by doctors and rapidly increasing ambulance fees have all led to a health care system which is based on ability to pay.

The Ontario Council's brief to the Hall Commission, which is studying Canada's Medicare system, says, "as workers we are prepared to struggle once again to both restore the system and to expand its scope to cover other areas such as dentistry, and to make it a health care system, not merely a sickness insurance scheme".

The brief focuses on personal accounts of difficulties which CCU members face in obtaining proper medical care. It also suggests that some solutions to the crucial health care crisis. They include:

- financing health care needs from general government revenues, which would come from a truly progressive income tax system.
- Compelling all doctors to participate in provincial health schemes and abolish extra billing. Doctors could be fairly remunerated, perhaps on an annual level tied to the average composite industrial wage.
- Reintroducing federal-provincial cost-sharing, with the federal government ensuring that health care funds be used to guarantee universal accessibility for all.
- Ending the arbitrary, indiscriminate closures of hospitals, beds and staff cutbacks.
- The inclusion of extensive training in occupational health and safety in medical college curriculums.
- More extensive utilization of nurse practitioners and paramedical staff in the health care system.

Generally the brief claims that health care must be based on a preventive rather than curative approach. "Good health and the necessary mans to unsure it is a basic right which should not be subject to the marketplace contortions of government, business and the medical professions."

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