Picco slams federal health form


Ed Picco, Nunavut’s health minister, says he’s not happy with a federal government plan that will force Inuit to share private information before they can be eligible for aboriginal-only health benefits under the NIHB.

The NIHB, or non-insured health benefits program pays the cost of things that aren’t covered under Nunavut’s regular health insurance plan.

That includes prescriptions, medical devices and medical travel. Although non-Inuit patients must pay out-of-pocket for such services, they’re free to Inuit, thanks to the NIHB.

But now Health Canada says aboriginal people must sign four-page “access to information consent form” before their extra health costs will be covered by the NIHB.

Picco says this scheme is “not well-supported, poorly implemented, and gives the appearance of being another federal attempt to download health-care costs onto provinces and territories.

That’s because the GN is stuck with the job of getting people to sign the forms, a task that will likely be performed by overworked nursing station staff.

“The way this program is being implemented, I suspect that the bureaucrats behind the gun registry have been moved to Health Canada,” Picco quipped in a GN press release.

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