Manitoba Health Coalition takes on Winnipeg Free Press for misleading poll on health care
The fight to save Canada’s public health care system is heating up in Manitoba, as the government seeks to expand private health care at the expense of the public system.
In a strongly-worded critique published in the Winnipeg Free Press on June 30, Thomas Linner, Director of the Manitoba Health Coalition, says a poll conducted by the newspaper gave no option to respondents, asking only whether they would support private sector help to clear surgical and diagnostic backlogs. The Manitoba Health Coalition is affiliated with the Canadian Health Coalition.
This is “a mistaken approach that does a disservice to Free Press readers,” says Linner. “We believe that public health care is a fundamental right for every Manitoban based on the principles (public administration, universality, comprehensiveness, accessibility and portability) and conditions (no extra billing or user fees, or queue-jumping) of the Canada Health Act.”
Linner points to an earlier poll done by the same polling firm and involving the Coalition, in which respondents were given options for addressing the backlog.
“Given the option, just over two-thirds or respondents preferred to hire and train more staff and purchase more equipment with the province’s public health system,” he said. “Less than a quarter preferred to pay private health care providers – including some based in the U.S. – to deliver these services.”