Sunday, March 28, 2010

Canada's growing private health sector

Fewer Canadians may be coming to the US to get medical care (Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland flew to the US to get his heart surgery done a coupe of months ago):
But a Supreme Court ruling last June — it found that a Quebec provincial ban on private health insurance was unconstitutional when patients were suffering and even dying on waiting lists — appears to have become a turning point for the entire country.
"The prohibition on obtaining private health insurance is not constitutional where the public system fails to deliver reasonable services," the court ruled
In response, the Quebec premier, Jean Charest, proposed this month to allow private hospitals to subcontract hip, knee and cataract surgery to private clinics when patients are unable to be treated quickly enough under the public system. The premiers of British Columbia and Alberta have suggested they will go much further to encourage private health services and insurance in legislation they plan to propose in the next few months.
Private doctors across the country are not waiting for changes in the law, figuring provincial governments will not try to stop them only to face more test cases in the Supreme Court.
Private clinics are opening around the country by an estimated one a week, and private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine.

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