Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Private Health Care Under Consideration in Canada

Canadians, typically chauvinistic about the supposed superiority of their system of socialized medicine, have more and more begun to realize that they are victimized by inferior health care.

Indeed, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a lynchpin of the system of socialized medicine -- the prohibition on people buying private health care with their own money -- is unconstitutional because “In sum, the prohibition on obtaining private health insurance is not constitutional where the public system fails to deliver reasonable services.”

Now, the province of Alberta is exploring opening the system up to private insurance companies.
EDMONTON — Alberta will examine the possibility of having private insurance compete with the public health-care system for all medical treatments, Health Minister Iris Evans told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.

Evans said she is expanding the scope of an existing actuarial review to see the implications of allowing private insurance to offer faster treatments for a wide range of procedures, including joint replacements.

“We’ve got people waiting 18 months for surgery on their hips,” Evans said in an interview following a government caucus meeting. “And we have a demand for that type of service where they can pay for (the surgery) so they can get their life back.”
Of course, Alberta is the most conservative of Canadian provinces, and the proposal is getting a lot of flack even there.

One of the ways in which the welfare state corrupts the public is when politicians hand out free “goodies,” claim credit for the goodies (which are in fact paid for by the recipients, and not the politicians) and then play on peoples’ fear and selfishness when change is suggested.

But more and more, the public is beginning to realize that they are paying inflated prices for poor quality services.

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