AND WHEREAS it is desirable to entrench the principles of medicare in order to protect them from erosion and to strengthen the principles by recognizing the need to prevent physical and mental ill health;
THEREFORE be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Health Care Act.
2 The purpose of this Act is to establish principles, criteria and conditions that must be met in order to establish facilities, programs and policies as a part of the health-care system of the Province.
3 (1) In this Act, "insured health services" includes services that promote, conserve and restore health, prevent illness, injury and disability and provide supportive care when health is deteriorating.
(2) In this Act, "dentist", "health-care practitioner", "hospital", "insured health services", "insured person", "medical practitioner" and "public authority" have the same meaning as in the Canada Health Act.
4 It shall be the objective of the health-care system of the Province to promote good health and wellness, to prevent physical and mental ill health and to provide treatment.
5 No facility, program or policy shall form a part of the health-care system of the Province unless
(a) it is operated on a non-profit basis by a public authority appointed or designated by the Government and accords with the Canada Health Act;
(b) it is comprehensive, in that the health-care insurance plan of the Province must insure all insured health services provided by hospitals, medical practitioners or dentists, and where the law of the Province so permits, similar or additional services rendered by other health-care practitioners;
(c) it is universal, in that the health-care insurance plan of the Province must entitle one hundred per cent of the insured persons of the Province to the insured health services provided for by the plan on uniform terms and conditions;
(d) it is portable, in that the health-care insurance plan of the Province accords with the Canada Health Act; and
(e) it is accessible, in that the health-care insurance plan of the Province accords with the Canada Health Act.
6 No health service shall be discontinued as an insured health service unless the Minister of Health first engages in broad public consultation respecting the proposed discontinuance.
7 For greater certainty, but not so as to limit the generality of the foregoing, no privately owned health-care facility, operated for profit, shall be permitted to operate in the Province if it offers insured health services that are reasonably available through the health-care insurance plan of the Province.
8 For greater certainty, but not so as to limit the generality of the foregoing, access to insured health services by insured persons, shall not be dependent upon the prior payment of health-care premiums or any health-related tax or levy.
9 Dentists and medical practitioners shall not be the only authorized providers of insured services, and other appropriate health-care practitioners shall be authorized.
10 (1) The Provincial Health Council shall receive complaints or concerns of any resident of the Province concerning any aspect of the provision of insured health services in accordance with the principles set out in this Act.
(2) Each year the Council shall make a report in writing to the House of Assembly on its findings respecting the complaints and concerns received and shall file the report with the Clerk of the Assembly and with the Minister of Health.
(3) Within sixty days of receiving the report of the Council, the Minister shall make a report in response and file the Minister's report with the Clerk of the Assembly.
11 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations for the administration of this Act and for carrying its purposes and provisions into effect.
(2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.
12 Chapter 281 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Medical Services Act, is repealed.