B.C. Liberals Pick Champion Of Two- Tier Health Care To Recommend Health Care Reform
VICTORIA - The B.C. Liberals' decision to give a known proponent of two-tier health care an exclusive contract renders the tendering process a sham and wastes public dollars, said Adrian Dix , New Democrat health critic.
“B.C. is home to some of the continent’s top health policy analysts and schools, including UBC's Centre for Health Services and Policy Research. The B.C. Liberals could access their research and expertise at little or no cost. Instead, the government directly awarded a contract to consider health care reform to Elm Consulting, whose principle Cynthia Ramsay is affiliated with the Fraser Institute's campaign for two-tier health care," said Dix.
"Their decision to shutting out other credible options is further proof of the B.C. Liberals’ push to promote for-profit health care at the expense of Medicare.”
As reported by Public Eye online, the Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development directly awarded Elm Consulting a contract of upwards of $30,000 to examine health care sustainability and other jurisdictions’ health care systems (contract notice attached below).
In the contract notice, the government defends unilaterally selecting Elm Consulting to work with the BC Progress Board, which advises cabinet on economic and social policy, claiming Ramsay is “uniquely qualified” to study health care systems and financing.
“This is false on the face of it. B.C. is home to many health policy experts who have extensively researched these very same issues. Many would likely even present their findings to cabinet or to the BC Progress Board in person and for free,” noted Dix.
“The only thing that makes Ms. Ramsay uniquely qualified is that, unlike other researchers, she will render a report that is synchronized with the B.C. Liberals' long-standing drive to further privatize health care.”
Ramsay is a former Fraser Institute staff member and continues to conduct research for the conservative think tank’s campaign for American-style two-tier health care. She has recommended that other western provinces, like Saskatchewan, move from a single payer system to private insurance and expand the presence of for-profit clinics.
“The BC Progress Board has every right to look at health care, and Ms. Ramsey has every right to hold a strong view in favour of two-tier care. Her work is not without interest, though I disagree with many of her prescriptions. But we don’t need to pay $30,000 to discover Ms. Ramsey’s conclusions,” said Dix.
Carole James and New Democrats have been holding the B.C. Liberals accountable for breaking their word on the HST, and for backtracking on their election promises to protect health care, education, and other vital services.