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The good news: you can help protect medicare

The Report: January / February 2003 vol.24 num.1

by BRIAN ISBERG

here is an old joke that starts, ‘I have some good news and I have some bad news. Well, I have some good news and I have some bad news, but unfortunately this is not a joke.

The bad news is that the BC Liberal government's -New Era" in health care is unfolding ... you know, the new era where you will get less health care, in fewer places, and in a less timely manner. No, that is not what they promised in their election campaign, but it is what the Regional Health Authorities are forced to do in order to meet their drastically under-funded budgets.

The good news is there is something that can be done about it.

But ... and this is a big but ... it is up to you. Dont panic, take a deep breath; you can do this. No, someone else cant do it for you! It has to be you.

So, what are you up against? There is chronic under-funding from the federal government, under-funding from the provincial government, large corporations who see the opportunity to make huge profits, and corporate think tanks like the Fraser Institute which promote an American model of health care doing their best to influence public policy.

What do you have on your side? You have millions of fellow Canadians who know that our grandparents and parents created one of the best health care systems in the world, who in poll after poll overwhelmingly support a universal health care system.

You also have the report of the Romanow Commission on Health Care.

This is where you can make a difference! You must become an active participant in saving and improving our health care system. You cannot sit back and hope someone else will do it. You have to take this opportunity and write to your MLA and MP and tell them to act and implement the Romanow Report.

You, your family, your friends, your neighbourhood, and your community have the ability to make governments listen to you. Yes, it will require work and perseverance, but the reward is worth it. The reward is a health care system for all of us.

The truth is that you cannot just write one letter to your MLA or MP and think that you have done your part. You have to stay involved and committed; you have to keep writing until they finally listen to the fact that Canadians want to keep our public universal health care system.

It is up to you!

Brian Isberg represents Region 2 on HSAs Board of Directors.

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