Despite failing performance, provinces want more $$$ for Medicare

Wait times for health care in 2015 were almost twice as long as in 1993, according the Fraser Institute’s annual report released in December.

Despite this dismal performance record, provincial governments believe Ottawa should be transferring even more health care dollars than the nearly $71 billion in 2016-17 under the funding formula — which had no strings attached — that the Harper government put in place.

According to Konrad Yakabuski  [December 29, 2015, Globe and Mail]: “Darker days lie ahead…. With cash transfers to the provinces growing more slowly, except for infrastructure funding, conflicts over how to divide the pot will get nastier.” Under Harper’s nine-year watch, “Health care transfers rose at a fat 6% every year.”

The Fraser Institute’s report identifies four factors for the wait times debacle.

  1. “First, there are no pressure valves.”
  2. “Second, there are limited incentives to use services responsibly …”
  3. “Third, there are actually incentives to restrict the supply of services.”
  4. “Fourth, there are too many bottlenecks.”

As Bacchus Barua, a Fraser Centre senior economist, wryly observes:

“In Canada, we unfortunately focus on the preservation of the Medicare system, and expect patients to adjust accordingly. Instead, we need to focus on the patients, and adjust the Medicare system accordingly.”




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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