Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 13, 2002
Keep Medicare, says Interfaith Coalition
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Edmonton's Interfaith Coalition on Health Care wants reform in the Medicare system.
They also oppose its privatization and made its views known during a public health care forum at Robertson Wesley Church Hall, May 6.
"What's exciting to me is the response across Canada," said Rev. Ted Reeve of Toronto School of Theology. "
Many Canadians from different faith groups want to preserve Medicare in Canada. It is seen as a fundamental right, a basis of who we are as Canadians."
Reeve was on his last leg of a 15-city Canadian tour to give presentations on Medicare.
The desire to improve the system and not let it digress into a private system is really alive within the people, said Reeve, who is also the director of Faith and the Common Good Network.
"People seem to understand and are willing to pay more if they absolutely have to, but I don't think that's necessary."
Reeve believes that what needs to happen in Canadian health care is for the system to be reformed so that its multi-professional teams focus on primary care, good home care, good drug plans.
Rev. Don Mayne of the local group told the WCR, "We'd like to see the report that (Romanow) makes to the Canadian government."
This Edmonton group wants the single payer system, government control in health care and say no to private for profit hospitals like in the American style of Medicare.
"We believe that there are things wrong with the Canadian (health care) system.
"It's not as adequate as it can be. But it's still the best that is available to us and we want to emphasize that we retain the existing Canadian system and not Americanized it."
Mayne, spokesperson of the coalition, was pleased with the public forum attendance.
This is an issue that a lot of people are concerned about, although most people may feel powerless — that they can not do anything about it, he said .
"It's government stuff."
"However, we want to tell the Romanow Commission that we believe in the kind of Medicare that we have here in Canada."
It doesn't have to be privatized, it has to be improved and enhanced," said Mayne.
During the forum, which was attended by more than a hundred Edmontonians, a nine-page position paper to be submitted to the Romanow Commission, was presented to the public. Opinions formed during this public forum will be appendixed to the submission.