Costco running a “poll” on private health care

“Should Canada have more private health clinics or services” is the question posed in the July/August edition of the magazine Costco Connection. It offers two opposing views: “Yes” by Jasmin  Guenette, vice-president of the Montreal Economic Institute; “No” by Colleen Flood, director of the University of Ottawa Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics.

Prof. Flood misleads: there are no “comparable countries” with Canada’s Medicare monopoly. All those with superior and less costly health care systems have a public-private mix of hospitals and physician services. 

She also argues “international evidence” can “show us how and where to innovate and improve,” then cautions the “devil is in the details on how to transplant these models,” e.g., Britain’s National Health Service “is a million miles away from our present Canadian [health] system.” As former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein liked to say, “You can’t suck and blow at the same time.”

Canada’s government-run health care system – Medicare -- is a monopoly that prohibits private hospital and private physician care. Medicare is a subpar performer, ranking 10th among 11 advanced countries. Canadians deserve much better! Patients deserve timely access to quality care and choice of hospitals and physicians. Taxpayers deserve much more value for their tax dollars.

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