Friends of Medicare's statement on today's Supreme Court decision
EDMONTON – This morning, public health advocates across the country were heartened to learn that the Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed Dr. Brian Day and Cambie Surgeries Corporation’s attempt to overturn previous decisions made by BC’s courts, a conclusive decision to uphold Canadians’ rights to public health care based on need, not the ability to pay.
This ruling upholds previous decisions from the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the lower court which reaffirmed that provincial laws limiting a two-tier health care system do not contravene the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This case—the lengthy trial, the appeals, and the rulings—has reiterated what public health care advocates have always known: profit has no place in health care! Private, for-profit health care siphons medical staff and resources from the public system, resulting in worsening wait times and declining care for everyone but the wealthiest among us. But ultimately, this case was never about patients, it was simply about increasing the profits of those who seek to capitalize on the health care needs of Canadians.
As intervenors in the case, the British Columbia Health Coalition and Canadian Doctors for Medicare helped ensure this historic victory for our public health care system; a major blow against Brian Day and his camp. But while we celebrate this win today, our collective work to protect and strengthen public health care is far from over.
As our health care systems in Alberta and across the country continue to struggle with the fallout of the pandemic, ongoing short-staffing, and escalating privatization attempts by provincial governments, it has become more evident than ever just how vitally important our public health care system is, and the urgency with which we must defend it from attacks.
Today’s victory must renew our commitment to ensuring a public health care system based on need, and not ability to pay. Friends of Medicare and public health care advocates all across this country will continue our fight to protect, strengthen and expand our public health care system for all.
- 30 -