Private clinics are bad for public health

Dr. Brian Day’s campaign to dismantle Canadian public health care will go on trial June 6.

Dr. Brian Day’s campaign to dismantle Canadian public health care will go on trial June 6. Intervenors in the case will bring expert evidence before the courts about the costs for-profit health care and health insurance could have for Canada. It is particularly important that the federal government enforce the standards in the Canada Health Act, including the ban on extra-billing and user fees.

Under Medical Services plan (MSP) all British Columbians get medically necessary doctor and hospital services based on need, not the ability to pay. The goal of private for-profit clinics is, of course, to make a profit. I believe its immoral to make a profit out of people’s illnesses.

There is a big difference between adequate compensation to doctors and health care professionals and profit to investors whose only interest in your health is how much money they will make. Why does it cost $21,780 for a hip replacement surgery at a for-profit in Alberta and the same surgery costs $10,000 in a public hospital?

Health care does cost money and new equipment and technologies are expensive. We all know that. We need to examine how medical services fees are collected so that they are affordable to everyone. Other provinces collect fees through their taxes. This method seems to be too complicated for British Columbia. Those with higher income will pay more. However these are some of the same people who would not mind paying thousands more to a for-profit clinic to get faster treatment, so I don’t know why they should complain about paying a few hundred more for all British Columbians to get the same treatment.

Christy Clark also believes that the payment of premiums is valuable, as it reminds us of the costs of medical services. I think we are also smart enough to know that, too. There are some who do abuse the system. There are those who will abuse any system, like corporations who hide their money offshore to avoid paying taxes, or just don’t pay their taxes at all, even here! We all make up the slack of those lost payments.

We also need to examine, too, how the premiums are spent. Some of the ideas which are supposed to save money end up costing more. The costs just get shifted to another category.

Write to your MLA and demand that the government fully audits private clinics and stop violations of our health care laws.


Trudy Thorgeirson