Archive for December 4th, 2006

So I read today that our country’s first private health clinic has opened in British Columbia. Huzzah! (sarcasm) Yes, I am a strong supporter of our publicly funded health care system–even if it is in a bit of a shambles right now and sorely in need of some “rehabilitation” and healing in it’s own right.

Still, privatization is not the answer. At least not in my opinion. And I think my opinion matters as a patient and health care consumer because in the end, it’s us who always end up suffering the brunt of decisions made.

Some people who are onside with, not outright privatization (believe me, I don’t think that will ever happen–over certain politician’s dead bodies), but maintaining some sort of “two-tiered” approach, think that it will solve some of our current problems with backlogs. They think it will allow for people to seek non-vital services faster. Uh huh. Ah, yes. You have the money, you get to move to the head of the line. But will such “queue jumping” really improve our backlogs? The system is not clogged simply with non-vital services. Oh, take a stroll through the emergency rooms. The “vital” services are looking pretty grim, also.

So here we have this new private clinic that has opened up that treats “vital” or as they say “urgent” services. But wait. According to the article, some vital services are paid for under the public system. This would make the clinic in violation under the Canada Health Act. The doctors there are also working in both systems–private and public so hmmm…dual practice? Conflict of interest? Don’t like how slowly things are going at the hospital, well…why don’t you come over to the clinic…for a few dollars, we can get you out a lot faster!

So this is that latest in healthcare from our Federal Government. They’ll sit and watch this sort of behaviour go on, keep an eye on it and yet they won’t actually invest in fixing the problems.

I don’t want to be all “Chicken Little” but you know what they say: “Give them an inch…” If one or a few of these start popping up it will turn viral. Maybe the rich don’t mind (you’d think they would!) but there are a lot of people that need publicly funded healthcare. We’ve got a great system. It works. It’s just been neglected for way too long by a government that doesn’t seem to care.