Provocateur Michael Moore filmed Sicko to "try and do something" about America's "corrupt" private healthcare system. But it seems some activists in this province are trying to use Mr. Moore's documentary to stop something from happening to British Columbia's public healthcare system. Since the film opened in Victoria, South Island Health Coalition members have been distributing pamphlets outside screenings of Sicko, encouraging moviegoers to help them "protect and enhance" that system. In an interview with Public Eye, the group's co-chair Carol Pickup, a retired Saanich councillor, explained, "Our main purpose is to demonstrate that we certainly don't want to go down the road of the American health system. I think it's very obvious it's the worst health system in the world in that it doesn't cover about 50 million people. And even people with money - if they get a catastrophic illness - they can go bankrupt and get into real difficulty."
"So, with the push by some people toward a two-tier or a private sector healthcare system, I think we need to learn the lessons of the American system - which is the epitome of the free market health system - to see that it does not serve the American people well at all."
Ms. Pickup added the timing of Sicko's release "was perfect as far as we're concerned. And we're also anxious to increase our membership. So if you've got the pamphlet, you'll notice there's a tear-away membership application as well. And we've picked up about 20 new members" as a result.