Re: “Two-tier health care reduces access for those less able to pay”, (Citizen, June 15).
Thanks to Nancy Clegg for writing in but I need to qualify my statement with regard to the working hours of the consultants (specialists) in the UK, not the MD/GPs. All but a handful of MDs work full-time for the National Health Service.
In the UK and EU a normal working week is defined as between 35 and 40 hours per week and this is what the consultants commit to the NHS.
They allocate an extra eight to 10 hours per week (overtime) to the private hospitals, a quarter of their working week.
The latter period of time earns them a much greater remuneration, keeping the NHS costs lower for the benefits of patients that are not well off.
With regards to the costs of MRIs and the equipment, they are exactly the same whether in the public sector or private, you just don’t see it as it is hidden in a tax format.
Your problem in Canada is there is no competition, just a monopoly.
In the UK, as an osteopath, I can send the patient to Belgium for the day and obtain an MRI for half the price in the UK. I could also send you to Poland for a long weekend and obtain an MRI for a quarter of the price and you would be seen by a professor. I would like to add that all taxpayers in the UK subsidize the NHS with no opt outs with regards to the private hospitals.
You have an education system in B.C. running in tandem with the private schools, with all taxpayers supporting the public system. Those that can afford it send their children to private schools, but they still pay their taxes.