Public Values

Provincial, federal governments ignore private clinic violations of Canada Health Act

Growing trend bleeds public health care system of needed skills and services.

Maude Barlowby Maude Barlow, Halifax Herald

May 7, 2008 — Private clinics are spreading like bad weeds across the country, welcomed by a federal government that is content to look the other way while these for-profit ventures offer health care for a price.

Last weekend, health coalitions, citizens' groups and other organizations that support public health care confronted the federal government's abandonment of the public health care system. People across the country raised a united voice to say that these private clinics continue to pose a real threat to the future of public health care in Canada.

It may seem easy to dismiss the clinics merely as service providers, filling a niche where people can pay money if they want to access surgeries, medical procedures and even family doctors. If people have the extra money, why shouldn't they be able to pay for something as personal and essential as health care?

The fact is that Canada does not have enough trained doctors, surgeons, specialists, nurses or other health care providers. The professionals who practise in private clinics are spending their time away from the public system where there are arguably more people with greater needs. . .

Maude Barlow is the chairperson of the Council of Canadians. She is the author Profit is Not the Cure: A Citizen’s Guide to Saving Medicare.

Links and sources
  Private clinics ruining public health care, by Maude Barlow, Halifax Herald, May 7, 2008

Posted: May 14, 2008

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