Bacchus Barua
Bacchus Barua is a Senior Economist in the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Health Policy Studies. He completed his B.A. (Honours) in Economics at the University of Delhi (Ramjas College) and received an M.A. in Economics from Simon Fraser University. Bacchus is the author of the Provincial Healthcare Index (2013) and Why We Wait: Physician Opinions on Factors Affecting Health Care Wait Times; as well as the lead author of Hospital Report Card: British Columbia (2011) and Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Healthcare in Canada (2010–2012).

Entries by Bacchus Barua

Canada's Health-Care System Is Failing To Deliver Timely Care To Patients

(5) Comments | Posted April 12, 2016 | 10:57 AM

Shorter waits for hip-fracture repair, and eight out of 10 Canadians receiving "priority procedures" within government-defined benchmarks.

Sounds pretty good, right?

However, these highlights from the Canadian Institute of Healthcare Information's (CIHI) annual update of Wait Times for Priority Procedures in Canada are little more than feel-good distractions...

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A National Drug Program Won't Help the Canadians Who Need it Most

(6) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 9:55 AM

Calls for a government-operated national drug insurance program have been getting louder over the past few months, culminating most recently with premiers from across the country signing a "prescription" for "National Drug Coverage."

While there may indeed be legitimate concerns regarding the affordability of prescription drugs for certain...

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What Is the True Value of Time Lost Waiting for Medical Treatments?

(8) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 9:51 AM

Imagine being told you need medical treatment, but have to wait for more than two months before you can get it.

This is the average wait time experience for more than 900,000 Canadian patients. While some of them may be lucky enough to wait for their treatment without...

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B.C.'s Health Care System Needs to Embrace the Private Sector

(1) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 6:52 PM

British Columbia's health ministry recently announced it will invest $10 million to increase surgical capacity, with an eye on reducing wait times. Part of the plan involves contracting some surgeries out to private clinics, who now become temporary partners in the effort to deliver timely universal health care.

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A National Drug Plan for Canada? Look Before You Leap

(17) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 6:49 PM

Calls for a national drug insurance program, commonly referred to as Pharmacare, can regularly be found in Canada's media. While access to prescription drugs is an important component of any well-functioning healthcare system, there's little evidence that an expanded government-run single-payer program is either necessary or ideal.

When it comes...

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Patient Wait Times Have Doubled Over the Past 20 Years

(5) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 6:49 PM

You know things are bad when the best you can say is "at least it hasn't gotten any worse." That, essentially, is the main takeaway from the Canadian Institute for Health Information's updated report on wait times for healthcare in Canada.

The media seems to have taken the bait, though,...

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How Much "Free" Health Care Really Costs Canadians

(112) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 6:22 PM

"Don't touch my free health care," is a common refrain from defenders of the status quo whenever anyone broaches the topic of reforming Canada's health-care system.

While politicians and interest groups no doubt share a portion of the blame for perpetuating the myth of a $0 price tag for health...

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Let's Take a Closer Look At European Healthcare Before We Try To Emulate It

(4) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 1:59 PM

Professor Colleen Flood's recent column in Globe Debate (Canada should look to Europe on health care, not the U.S.) got the title right -- but just about everything else wrong. Canadians would indeed benefit from a look at Europe for lessons on healthcare reform. What they should not...

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Canadian Wait Times: While Politicians Dither, Patients Die

(14) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 1:36 PM

Over the past two decades, the general Canadian attitude toward wait times for medical treatment seems to have evolved into a resigned acceptance of this ostensibly "mild nuisance" in an otherwise excellent system.

It's time for a reality check.

Since 1993, the average wait for treatment has almost doubled (to...

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Why Wait Times For Healthcare Continue To Be Among the Longest For Canadians

(8) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 7:05 PM

The 2004 federal-provincial health accord recently completed its 10-year run, and expired on schedule. Though heralded at the time of its signing as a landmark agreement that would solve many of the wait times issues plaguing Canada's healthcare system, in retrospect it achieved very little and was very expensive to...

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Bragging to America Won't Fix Canadian Health Care

(57) Comments | Posted March 22, 2014 | 12:48 PM

A recent testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee by Dr. Danielle Martin, former head of the Canadian Doctors...

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Hate to Break it To You Walt - It's Pretty Bad in Canada Too

(46) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 4:31 PM

The season finale of the popular U.S. drama Breaking Bad brought with it renewed interest in a viral internet meme that implicitly suggested that the entire story might not have taken place had the main character, Walter White, lived in Canada. The meme suggests that within minutes of being diagnosed...

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