Wait time for surgery calls for health care guarantee

Agnes Cadieux, a University of Ottawa health science student, has every right to be disillusioned with Medicare and the Ontario health care system’s failure to provide her — and thousands of others — with timely access to quality care. [“Life on the surgery waiting list” November 29,2015 Ottawa Citizen] http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/agnes-cadieux-life-on-the-surgery-waiting-list

Governments require the private sector to provide guarantees and warranties, and are quick to up the ante, as the automobile industry well knows with vehicle recalls. But governments have a double standard when it comes to their own performance. And, the publicly funded Medicare monopoly prohibits Canadians from privately purchasing hospital and physician services in their own country.

It’s time for a health care guarantee, as called for by the committee of former Liberal Senator Michael Kirby and by the Canadian Medical Association. It would entitle Canadians to compensation if the care was not provided within the prescribed time, e.g., the 182-day “target” in Agnes’ case to help her obtain the care she needs, either in Canada or outside the country.

A health care guarantee also would significantly increase the transparency and accountability of Medicare.

 

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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