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User-pay MRI legislation will reduce access and only increase wait lists

The following news release was issued today by CUPE Saskatchewan:

The introduction of user-pay MRI scan legislation by the Government of Saskatchewan is the beginning of two-tier health care, says CUPE.

“Allowing those able to pay for private MRI scans to get access to health care more quickly – regardless of need – is the introduction of two-tier health care,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “While those with large wallets can get MRIs quickly, the rest of us will have to wait.”

Graham pointed to provinces that have experimented with the pay-per-use model where studies have shown an increase in overall wait times. In Alberta, the private pay-per-use model resulted in a contravention of the Canada Health Act and the province was forced to repay patients for medically necessary MRI scans.

The union has further concerns with private MRI operators poaching health care professionals from the public system which already experiences staff shortages from private clinics.

“Legislation that allows people to jump the queue and causes the poaching of health care professionals from the public system will lead to reduced access to health care and longer wait lists,” said Graham. “Passing off more costs to patients and draining the public health care system is not innovative, it’s privatization.”

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http://sk.cupe.ca/2015/05/06/user-pay-mri-legislation-will-reduce-access-and-only-increase-wait-lists/

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Government Will Amend Pension Regulations For City Of Regina Pension Plan

Released on March 11, 2015

The Government of Saskatchewan has accepted recommendations brought forward by the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) to amend pension regulations for the City of Regina pension plan.

These amendments, along with amendments being made to the City of Regina pension plan, will bring the plan into compliance with pension law and will result in a pension plan that is more affordable and sustainable.

“I would like to thank the FCAA staff for their hard work in reviewing this very complex issue,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said. “I would also like to express my appreciation to the City of Regina and the Civic Pension and Benefits Committee for their perseverance in negotiating amendments to the pension plan.”

The proposed amendments to the regulations will include:

a longer period of time over which the unfunded liability in the plan can be paid off;a removal of the requirement that solvency deficiencies in the plan have to be funded; anda provision that contribution rates in the plan can’t be reduced until the unfunded liability established in the next actuarial valuation report is paid off or eliminated.

The City of Regina and the Regina Civic Pension and Benefits Committee submitted a joint proposal regarding changes to the pension plan to FCAA in December 2014 for review. The proposal was accepted and recommendations to proceed with amendments to the regulations were forwarded to the Government of Saskatchewan.

For more information about the City of Regina Pension Plan visit http://fcaa.gov.sk.ca/reginapension .

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For more information, contact:

Linsay Rabyj
Justice
Regina
Phone: 306-787-0775
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cell: 306-540-4945

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About CUPE 3967

CUPE Local 3967 has the distinction of being the largest CUPE Health Care Local in Saskatchewan and has the largest Membership in Canada.

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