Marquette Warrior: Blow to Canada’s System of Socialized Medicine

Monday, June 13, 2005

Blow to Canada’s System of Socialized Medicine

From the Toronto Globe and Mail:
The Supreme Court of Canada struck down Thursday a Quebec prohibition on private health-care insurance, in what members of Canada’s medical profession called a “historic” decision with the potential to dramatically change the face of care in this country.

“In sum, the prohibition on obtaining private health insurance is not constitutional where the public system fails to deliver reasonable services,” the court found.

In a decision handed down Thursday, the country’s highest court said the Quebec prohibition contravenes Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

The case centres on a claim of Quebec doctor Jacques Chaoulli and his patient, George Zeliotis, who charged that the Quebec ban on buying private insurance ran afoul of both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Quebec charter.

Mr. Zeliotis launched the challenge after being forced to spend a year on a waiting list for a hip replacement in 1997 because he was prevented from paying to get faster service. Dr. Chaoulli has also long argued for the right to set up his own private medical business.
That’s right: in Canada, people were forbidden to buy their own medical care with their own money.

Socialism run amok — not that socialism ever runs anywhere else.

But equally striking — and on this the Canadian Supreme Court is ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court — the Court held that people have a constitutional right to engage in certain economic transactions.


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