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BC Health Coalition calls on citizens to report health care violations through new national website

Today the BC Health Coalition is supporting Canadas nurses and hospital workers, which have teamed up to launch the -Know your Medicare Rights" campaign.  The campaign will focus on providing citizens with an opportunity to report incidences of extra-billing and other violations of the Canada Health Act through a new national website.

-In British Columbia, and across Canada, the right to have medically necessary services 100 percent paid for by the government - whether through a doctors office, hospital, surgical centre or diagnostic clinic ... is protected under the Canada Health Act and provincial legislation," says Joyce Jones, co-chair of the BC Health Coalition.

The Canada Health Act sets out the framework for Canadas medicare system. To qualify for federal funding under the Act, each province and territory must meet the following criteria ... public administration, universality, comprehensiveness, accessibility, and portability.  

-Despite these protections under the CHA, we know that sometimes patients are being asked to pay for medically necessary services, which is clearly illegal," says coalition Medicare Campaigner, Leslie Dickout.  -In this province, the BC Medical Protection Act is supposed to ensure that citizens will not be charged extra billing or user fees - but we know this is still happening.  By not acting to enforce provincial and federal legislation these governments are serving to directly undermining medicare," says Dickout.

Key components of the Your Medicare Rights campaign include a the website www.yourmedicarerights.ca, and a pamphlet to inform the public of their medicare rights.

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For more information contact:

Leslie Dickout, Medicare Campaigner, BC Health Coalition (604) 681-7945 or (604) 787-6560 (cell)

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