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News of the Day ... In Perspective

10/16/2006

Public health insurance in Canada financially unsustainable

According to a Fraser Institute study, provincial government spending on health care will consume more than half of Canada’s total revenue from all sources by 2020, and all revenue by 2050 in six out of 10 provinces, if current trends continue.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan are projected to consume half of all revenues as early as 2016; Alberta by 2017; British Columbia and Prince Edward Island by 2019; and Ontario by 2020.

In order to slow the growth in public health spending, while maintaining accessibility and quality of medical care, the study’s authors suggest:

  • Requiring patients to make copayments
  • Acknowledging the right of patients to pay privately
  • Permitting extra-billing of patients
  • Permitting both for-profit and not-for-profit hospital facilities to compete to deliver publicly funded services.

Additional information:

  • “Canadian Medical Association Elects Supporter of Private Medicine as President,” News of the Day 8/28/06.

  • “Canada’s Fatal Error—Health Care as a Right,” by Michael E. Aubrey, M.D., Medical Sentinel: Part I, Spring 2001; Part II, Summer 2001.

 

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