PEI health care activists celebrate Tommy Douglas’s birthday

CHARLOTTETOWN – CUPE members and supporters of Canada’s Public Medicare System celebrated Tommy Douglas’ birthday in hospitals across the Island today.

Cake was served at the Island five hospitals to celebrate Tommy Douglas — the father of the Medicare system.

“Today, we want to take this moment to say to the little fellow with an idea, a very big idea: Thank you Tommy”, said Claude Généreux, CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer.

“This week, we have been celebrating Tommy Douglas, and the health care system, which is his legacy, all across Canada.”

“Also, the Canadian Health Coalition launched a campaign called “Medicare Works”. Our public health care is under attack and we have to put a stop to a two-tier system”, said Généreux.

“CUPE is working with other health care Unions and the Canadian Health Care Coalition, to ensure that health care stays on the front burner in every province. Using Tommy as a symbol is one way.”

“This is a fight about wages and benefits, and about quality health care. Quality comes from public sector workers and it’s time the governments of Canada learned that quality has to be paid for”, added Généreux.

Unfortunately, there are still health care services on Prince Edward Island that are privatized such as ambulance services and some specialized procedures. As well, the costs of prescription drugs are prohibitive for many Islanders. CUPE PEI is committed to continue the fight to ensure Tommy Douglas` vision of a fully funded public comprehensive health care system is available to every Islander, ` said Donalda MacDonald, President of CUPE PEI Division.