Wednesday, December 31, 2008

NB government will open door to private health clinics in 2009

As with Alberta, New Brunswick is doing away with local control and centralising administration. At the same time they are increasing the for-profit private portion of health care. This represents the continuing trend of making health care a for profit business rather than a public service based upon need and delivered at cost. Since many people cannot possibly pay for this very costly health care much of it remains paid for out of the public purse. However, there is also a tendency to offload costs onto individuals. In clinics for example there will be tray fees etc that will not be covered under existing medicare benefits.

The administration will be more and more "professional" as power is centralised in an elite who know better than those crass local boosters who are always out for their own local narrow interest!!

N.B. government will open door to private health clinics in 2009
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 11:27 AM ET
CBC News
Health Minister Michael Murphy will continue his reforms to the health system in 2009 with additional cuts to departmental administration and unveiling legislation that will set the stage for private health clinics.
Murphy said the legislation will settle who is allowed to own private clinics as well as address any potential conflicts of interest. But the health minister maintains the use of private clinics will not violate the Canada Health Act.
"We respect that and we will adhere to that," Murphy said.
"Publicly-funded health care is going to prevail, but that doesn't mean that every piece of equipment will be owned by the public nor every particular person treating you will be employed by the public sector."
The legislation will be introduced after the legislature returns in March. Murphy said the proposed law will stipulate who can sell privately-delivered health services to the province.
The health minister launched a set of health reforms in 2008. The Liberal government slashed the eight regional health authorities down to two, sparking a legal fight initiated by a francophone group over minority language services in the Moncton area.
He also set up an oversight health council and a shared-services agency meant to reduce duplication within the health system.
Murphy said other changes are in the works, including improvements to breast cancer screening, and a more integrated patient record system.
Even after changes to regional health authorities in 2008, Murphy said the government is also looking at more cuts.
Murphy said the province is looking to cut more "fat" from hospital administration.
The New Brunswick government must also sign a new collective bargaining contract with registered nurses. The province's nurses union is in a legal strike position but has agreed not to strike during the holiday period.

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