Public-private tandem system can work well

I have had extensive experience working with the public (NHS) and private system in the UK and here.

There are many misconceptions published in Trudy Thorgeirson’s letter regarding private clinics and the court case regarding Dr. Brian Day.

I am an osteopath, physiotherapist and fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, UK, and I reside in Cobble Hill. I have had extensive experience working with the public (NHS) and private system in the UK and here.

Dr. Day is not campaigning to dismantle the public health system in Canada. He is fighting for his rights to carry on his business under the Charter of Rights against a monopoly. This monopoly safeguards its members (MDs) by gate-keeping other doctors from other countries from entering this system, stating that they are not as qualified as Canadian doctors and have to completely retrain. Try telling UK, French, German and many other well-trained doctors, and with experience, that they are poorly trained.

In the UK and many other European countries we have a dual health system (public and private) running in tandem, to the benefit of the people. It has been running in the UK for over 45 years.

Most well-off people use the private system via insurance companies such as BUPA, PPP, HSA etc., and others such as myself paid privately. The advantage is that the queues within the public system are much shorter, with regards to waiting times for operations.

All consultants (specialists) are contracted. They have to work for the public system for three-quarters of the time and one-quarter for the private system.

If they work for the private system 100 per cent they lose their access to the patients in the public system, which is a bit like shooting yourself in the foot.

There are many questions that Canadians should be asking and demanding change within the public system.

I will pick on just one. Why are patients still being sent for an X-ray or CT scan which both involve danger to the patient when they can be sent for an MRI scan which has no danger involved whatsoever? Radiation is a killer no matter what level is used, otherwise they would not use it in treating cancers.

To put it another way, I am a good friend and I am going to buy you a brand new car and one for myself.

Your car is going to be circa 1935, no indicators, wipers etc. and mine is going to be a 2016 Ford.

Unfair, I hear you say. No, your car is like mine, brand new. The X-ray is your car and the MRI is mine. Why have the costs of the MRI machines and usage not gone down dramatically since 1980, like computers, cellphones etc.? It is a simple question, but do not hope to get a reply from the monopoly.


Anthony Mathews

Cobble Hill