Letter to Edm Journal August 6, 2015

Proceed with lab deal

Re: ‘MDs push province on lab services’, August 4, 2015.

Kudos to Dr. Shelley Duggan, president of the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association, for urging the Alberta government to move forward in negotiations and transition planning with the company slated to take over lab services for the Edmonton region.

In its predictable, knee-jerk reaction, the Friends of Medicare has again attacked for-profit health care, but is silent on the cost effectiveness of unionized, non-competitive, public health-care delivery with its higher wage rates and generous benefits.

Patients should expect the very best quality health care. Taxpayers should expect the very best return on investment. Moreover, private companies pay taxes, which public entities such as Alberta Health Services do not.

Alberta’s Medicare monopoly has seen health care expenditures escalate from 30 per cent of the budget in the early 1980s to about 50 per cent today. This leaves less money for other determinants of health such as social housing, social assistance, seniors’ programs, etc.

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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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