Roberto Machado Noa via Getty Images
Morsa Images via Getty Images
A Charter challenge is underway at the Supreme Court of B.C., championed by Dr. Brian Day, owner of the Cambie Surgical Centre. Day is arguing that the laws currently prohibiting doctors in Canada from practicing in the public and private health sectors simultaneously should be struck down, along with the prohibition on the extra billing of patients for services already covered by the provincial health plan.
demaerre via Getty Images
The plaintiffs' constitutional challenge is straightforward: if the government does not provide timely medical treatment, then it cannot at the same time legally prohibit patients who are suffering on long wait lists from taking control of their own health care and arranging treatment privately.
Since the inception of medicare in Canada, opinion polls in all parts of the country consistently show that a vast majority of Canadians believe in equal access to health care based on need, not ability to pay. Yet this is precisely what is at stake in the Charter challenge against medicare taking place in the B.C. Supreme Court this week.
Photodisc via Getty Images
Provincial governments remain incapable of providing access to care within a reasonable timeframe, yet continue to maintain their monopoly over the provision of medical care. It's time for policy makers to make the changes required for Canada to have a universal and efficient health-care system.
Chris Wattie / Reuters
B.C. law prohibits residents from accessing private insurance to pay for medically necessary treatment in B.C. These prohibitions, together with the province's rationing of health-care services, has resulted in long waiting lists. Many residents in urgent need are forced to languish, suffering irreparable harm and risking death.
Rafe Swan via Getty Images
Extra-billing in Ontario, private MRIs in Saskatchewan and user fees in Quebec: violations of the Canada Health Act are on the rise across the country. Canadian doctors are concerned about the impact of this trend not only on their patients, but on our public health care system as well.
Paul Bradbury via Getty Images
Canada is the only country to limit the role of private health insurance exclusively to the coverage of services not insured by the public system. Canada is also alone in prohibiting doctors from practicing in both the public and the private sectors. Whereas 99 per cent of hospitals in Canada are public, in all other countries, private institutions have an important role to play in the provision of hospital services. Private, for-profit hospitals make up over one third of all hospitals in Germany (42 per cent), France (39 per cent) and Australia (36 per cent). Beyond any doubt, patients would be the first to benefit from such a pragmatic, evidence-based outcome.
So it looks like the 'magic bullet' solution has been found at last to cure Canada's health care woes: medical tourism. It's a revenue-generating solution for a cash-strapped system, we are told. A handful of other hospitals already engage in this practice. Should we break out the champagne and celebrate? Not so fast.
Wait times for priority medical treatments like hip and knee replacements are not going down despite concerted efforts in all provinces to improve the situation, a new report shows. Tuesday's report...
SASKATOON - A former Saskatchewan NDP finance minister says it's time for a fundamental restructuring of the health system and that includes having patients cough up cash for care.Janice MacKinnon mak...
There's been a lot of talk about reforming the Canada Health Act -- specifically losing two of the five principles. What's less frequently discussed is what we risk losing if certain principles of the Canada Health Act were to be relaxed or abandoned completely. If that happens, can anyone be confident that a high quality public system can be sustained?
Given the choice between a private and a public health care system, Canadians overwhelmingly choose the latter. But insert a third option – a mixed public/private system – and the country is less cert...
Rather than go backwards to a time before medicare, we can focus on the more important business of reforming the health delivery system so that it will improve the quality of life for all Canadians, not just a privileged few.
There is no single reform that is going to make medicare work better. But there is a general approach that would be useful. And that alternative approach recognizes the limitations of centralized planning and the need to allow more private money and leadership into the system.
Thanks to last Friday's Supreme Court decision, Vancouver's Insite safe injection site is now legal. That's a fascinating development in light of regulators' hostility to a comparatively benign, but n...
REGINA - The Canadian Union of Public Employees is demanding to know why the Saskatchewan government has been paying for private clinic surgeries.Union spokeswoman Suzanne Posyniak says it's an import...
Let's face it: most people don't want a heart transplant or a hip replaced just because they're free. So what do user fees really discourage? They discourage the frugal and the poor from getting the care they really need.
Ottawa likes to claim credit for supporting Medicare, but is quick to note that responsibility lies with the provinces. The provinces like to assert their jurisdiction over health care but never hesitate to point to "inadequate funding" from Ottawa to explain away failures. Can we get beyond this?
Health care, which pollsters insisted was the issue of greatest concern to voters in the federal election, was summarily dismissed by our political parties with a unanimous promise made up of two simple words: "more money." But throwing ever-larger amounts of taxpayer dollars at the problem without measuring value often simply results in more waste and duplication.
The sustainability and comprehensiveness of our universal healthcare system relies on governments' collective response to a simple question: Who will pay for what?
Our fiscally unsustainable public health care system is in deep trouble. Getting the health care system we want requires a shift from a sense of entitlement to one of personal responsibility.