Public Values

Privatized health care could make businesses less competitive

Canada Health Act needs to be more inclusive to remedy problems.

Health-policy adviser Sharon Sholzberg-Gray: cost-sharing means double-dipping docs and user fees.Toronto, ON (January 7, 2011): The Canada Health Act only requires coverage of medically necessary hospital and physician care. The problems in the health system are caused primarily by the lack of access to services not covered by the Canada Health Act. Some people are looking for a simple quick fix when there are multiple solutions.

The Fraser Institute's solution is private payments, co-payments, and private insurance options for hospital and physician services which are already covered. This would mean transferring a larger health expenditure burden to private businesses which now provide insurance for prescription drugs and other health costs not publicly insured. The pressure to cover them privately with duplicate insurance under the guise of quicker access to these services would make businesses less competitive in a difficult economy, at a time when more and more jobs are being transferred overseas.

"The Fraser Institute has recently called for a five-year suspension of the enforcement of the Canada Health Act, claiming that this would permit more experimentation with cost sharing and privatization, which would be a solution to access issues and sustainability of the health system. Cost-sharing is a euphemism for double-dipping by physicians and user fees that lead to queue-jumping..."

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Posted: January 15, 2011

  Health care
  Public services
  Front lines

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