Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 18, 2002
Catholic Health gives thumbs up to initial Romanow findings
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
The Catholic Health Association of Canada says it appreciates the emphasis placed on Canadian values in Roy Romanow's interim report on Canada's health care system.
"We suggested to the commission last fall that without attention to the question of values there could be no good health policy," James Roche, a CHAC spokesperson, said in an interview Feb.7. "That's the message I see in the report."
In a brief to the commission last October, the CHAC said any rethinking of the health care system requires "a reaffirmation of the societal values that gave rise to the system."
Such values "can provide direction in the current effort to build a more responsive and effective health care system."
In releasing his interim report Feb. 6, commission head Roy Romanow said he believes the "vast majority" of Canadians view Medicare as a "defining aspect of their citizenship" and that their main connection is with the "principles and values on which Medicare rests."
Romanow also said at a news conference that any reforms to Canada's health care system must not have a negative affect on the poor or the vulnerable.
"The health care system needs to be remodeled, not demolished," he said. "Our purpose must be to ensure future generations can continue to access quality care in a timely way on the basis of need."
The interim report summarizes four approaches to be discussed in upcoming consultations with Canadians before the final report is handed down in November. They include more public investment, user-fees, private health care and the restructuring of health delivery services.
The CHAC, the voice of Catholic health care in Canada, will be encouraging its members, church communities and faith groups to be involved in the upcoming consultations, Roche said. The national organization is also hoping it will be invited to make a presentation or take part in a panel discussion before the commission in its public consultation phase.
Roche said the CHAC is pleased Romanow wants to remodel the health care system and not demolish it. "It's an important point, given there has been - in recent months, certainly - an effort by some groups to suggest that medicare is no longer workable."