Statement: For-Profit Health Care Delivery is a Zombie Idea

In response to health care policy announcements released today by the BC United Party and the BC Conservative Party, the following statement is being issued by Kane Tse, President of the Health Sciences Association of BC.

Health Sciences Association of BC is the union representing more than 22,000 specialized professionals working in BC’s health care and community social services system. 


As we approach the provincial election this fall, HSA welcomes discussion and platform proposals about how we fix the dire shortage of health care professionals that has afflicted BC and other provinces.

However we have concerns about any political party floating the notion that we can improve health care by delivering more services through private and for-profit companies. It is a zombie idea. No matter how many times it’s proven wrong, it comes right back to life.

Private delivery results in longer wait times, reduced capacity in the public system, poor service for the public and poor pay for the specialized health care professionals who are already worn out and ready to quit.

As we have seen in BC’s history and more recently in other provinces, privatization costs more money, and often leads to wildly expensive moves such as the Alberta government’s need to bring laboratory services back into the public system after wait times grew out of control.

Let’s learn from experience, and not make the same mistakes again.