Wednesday, August 31, 2011

City of Victoria Resolution at the 2011 UBCM Convention

Victoria has proposed a resolution for the 2011 UBCM convention.    The City is looking for a ban on for profit medical clinics.

I am not sure how the City council had time to get into this sort of issue as it is completely outside of what the City is responsible for.   The whereas clauses make assertions for which no evidence is provided.   I wonder, did City staff research this for the council?  Or was the council passing this resolution without background research or on the basis of their own opinion or knowledge?

The resolution feels like an attempt to use the City and UBCM as a partisan way to attack the provincial government.   I fail to see how this is beneficial for the City, UBCM or anyone.   I really do not like the idea of local governments going outside of their area of responsibility and become activist organizations. There are no shortages of activist groups and political parties in BC, there is no reason local governments should enter this realm.   It is a waste of local government resources and distracts councils from the real stuff they need to be doing and in the case of the City of Victoria are not doing that great a job off.

Given how far down the list the resolution is, it is unlikely to make it to the floor this year.

B159 FOR-PROFIT CLINICS
Victoria
WHEREAS everyone must have the right to high quality, responsive and appropriate health care which is publicly funded, publicly accountable and publicly controlled, regardless of an individual’s income, ability, age, cultural heritage, sex, sexual orientation or geographical location;
AND WHEREAS for-profit clinics represent an increasing and serious threat to British Columbians’ health and the financial stability of the health care system;
AND WHEREAS the number of private, for-profit surgical and MRI/CT facilities in BC has more than doubled in the past five years, with a growing number of for-profit facilities operating in breach of the Canada Health Act’s criteria requiring universality and accessibility by charging patients privately for medically necessary and MSP insured hospital or physician services;
AND WHEREAS there is clear evidence that such clinics cost more than public facilities, increase wait times by draining scarce health human resources from the public system, and compromise patient safety:


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request that the Province of British Columbia:
Establish a moratorium on any further expansion of private, for-profit surgical and MRI/CT clinics;

  • Require an end to public funding of for-profit clinics, including the contracting-out of day surgeries and the provision of Health Authority contracts to for-profit clinics;
  • Require full accountability and transparency on the part of for-profit clinics by ensuring that they submit to all oversight and regulatory mechanisms currently applied to public facilities operating under the BC Hospital Act; and
  • Expand public capacity by requiring the development of publicly funded and administered outpatient facilities;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that UBCM continue to research and monitor the threat to universal public health care posed by the operations of private, for-profit surgical and MRI/CT facilities in its member communities.
ENDORSED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF VANCOUVER ISLAND AND COASTAL COMMUNITIES


UBCM RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: Not Endorse
UBCM RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE COMMENTS:
The Resolutions Committee notes that the UBCM membership considered but did not endorse resolution 2010-
B155, which called on the Province to:

  • Establish a moratorium on any further expansion of private, for-profit surgical and MRI/CT clinics
  • Require an end to public funding of for-profit clinics, including the contracting-out of day surgeries and the provision of health authority contracts to for-profit clinics
  • Require full accountability and transparency on the part of for-profit clinics by ensuring that they submit to all oversight and regulatory mechanisms currently applied to public facilities operating under the BC Hospitals Act
  • Expand public capacity by requiring the development of publicly funded and administered outpatient facilities.

The resolution also requested that UBCM research and monitor the operations of private, for-profit surgical and
MRI/CT facilities in its members’ communities.


This resolution was first scheduled to be considered at the 2009 Convention but due to time constraints, was not
considered and was referred automatically to the UBCM Executive. The Executive decided to refer the resolution
to the 2010 Convention, because they were not comfortable making a decision on behalf of the membership with
no prior UBCM policy on such a high-profile, controversial issue.


Though the resolution was not endorsed in 2010, UBCM members did endorse a related resolution, 2002-
B89, requesting that the provincial government honour the five principles of Medicare, which are: universal
coverage, comprehensive, accessible services, portable from province to province and publicly administered
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