The decision by the health ministry to cancel the potential privatization of the Patients as Partners program is a huge win for the tireless patient volunteers who fought to save the program, say the New Democrats.
“Congratulations to the volunteers from across the country who wrote and phoned to stop the Christy Clark government’s plan to privatize this valuable program,” said New Democrat health spokesperson Judy Darcy. “The program was under threat of losing the very thing that made it worthwhile – the input of the patient volunteers.
“They could have just gone away quietly, or they could have sat by and let this program become part of a multinational corporation’s for-profit health care agenda, but instead they worked to convince the government it was doing the wrong thing.”
The Patients as Partners program, an initiative of the provincial government, was intended to engage patients, learn from their experiences in the health care system, and improve the system as a result. The government allowed its contract with the non-profit ImpactBC to expire Oct. 31 and had awarded the program to the for-profit multinational Deloitte.
“Volunteers were concerned that Deloitte would put the needs of its shareholders ahead of the needs of the health care system, and were planning to withdraw from the program,” said Darcy. “The decision to bring the program into the ministry is a far better option.
“I commend the minister for recognizing that this was a bad choice for Patients as Partners. I hope that the next steps for this program are more in keeping with improvements to our public health care system.”