Romanow Foresees End of National Health-Care System

Roy Romanow, who headed the 2002 Healthcare Commission, interprets the new funding model announced by the Federal government as an ominous sign for the Canadian health care system. 

He claims that the Prime Minister has delegated more responsibility to the provinces out of a deliberate move to weaken the public health care system, which would open to doors to greater for-profit privatization,

To say, ‘Goodbye and good luck’ could be the beginning of the end of a reformed modern-day functioning health care system.

If that argument is advanced, we have a prescription for a patchwork-quilt series of programs by the provincial governments based on their fiscal capacity.

It will mean more privatization in more provinces, or some combination of private and public. It will be a very much weakened fabric of national unity without Mr. Harper’s direct involvement.

The effects of these changes could be so far reaching as to threaten national unity and Canadian identity,

This is a very big turning point in the making of the federation…

There’s a question here of federalism and Canadian citizenship. Do we want to have the possibility of disparate regions in the country?

This is a question now of how you build the country. It’s federalism. It’s Canadian unity. And programs such as medicare define what it means to be a Canadian.

The changes were made despite the promises in the Conservative Party of Canada’s 2011 platform to support universal health care and work collaboratively with the provinces. 

The Premiers will be meeting in Victoria next week to discuss health care further.

CPC on Health Accord

Omar Ha-Redeye is the Principal of Fleet Street Law, a full-service law chambers in Toronto.