The Healthcare System in Canada

A number of polls conducted in Canada show that adequate healthcare is the number one concern of the vast majority of Canadians. The transformation of Canada’s healthcare system is inevitable, Canada’s health care system is in crisis. There are two main possible routes which can taken to solve this dilemma. The first route, the easier, consists of letting our healthcare system evolve in a direction similar to that of the United States.

The second, more difficult route requires inventing a new efficient system respectful of the wish for equality in this country and responsive to the desire of each citizen to be able to act independently and responsibly. If we take that route, we will transform the current system, while upholding the fundamental principles for which it has been acclaimed worldwide. Canada’s government for the past few years is under a lot of pressure to find basically an alternative for its current health care system.

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These days, health care funding has been limited because of federal and provincial efforts to eliminate deficits, providing less and less money to the system. The results from this cutback has been hospital closures, staff layoffs, and reduced funding for advances in medical technology. Even though Canada’s present health care system guarantees, in theory, that the same services are available to rich and poor alike, the Conservative Party government, in Alberta, has introduced the beginning of the push for privatization that may change this.A bill was passed recently in spite of massive opposition from labour and community groups, allowing private companies, most of them based in the United States, to set up and operate clinics in competition with public hospitals. This proposal alternative of privatizing health care, however, will lead to numerous disadvantages for the recipients.

One major disadvantage to privatization is that it challenges ethical principles, especially fairness, according to which Canadian health care is so famous for. Privatization of healthcare would lead to a threat in the quality of the public system in two ways.First, better quality services would be offered privately, where resources are more plentiful. For example, there will be better equipment, more doctors, and increased personalized care. Second, public suppliers would shift to promote their target group to the private system, because of the outlook for more profits.

It is evident that with the invasion of privatization, free-clinics will become places where workers will not care as much for who they serve, patient beds are set up in hospital hallways, and longer waiting times.All these events will slowly bring about less emphasis towards the patients who show up to public hospital doors. It is safe to say that privatization will result in a decrease in the emphasis on prevention of illnesses and community-based health care. This will cause an overall decline in the health of society because companies, in an effort to decrease spending on care and increase profit margins for shareholders, will put the promotion of health and prevention of illness to a back seat. This decrease in health prevention will result in patients coming back and spending more money than they should.Since, the private sector is primarily profit-motivated, it will concentrate in areas of the country and amongst sections of the population where profits can be earned, if not maximized. Privatization is another way for the wealthy insurance companies to become richer as greed once again is ruining society.

Another argument is that privatization will not reduce health care costs. The best available proof that privatization will increase spending is the American health care system, which is the most expensive in the world yet leaves millions without health care insurance. However, the existing healthcare system does have its disadvantages too.Government cutbacks has starved hospitals’ communities and other healthcare institutions of the necessary funding.

The government is looking delicately toward privatization as one way to take the loads off their back and counter the impact of diminished funding. Some physicians and critics have called for privatization of our health care system, suggesting that the present system will fail to meet the needs of Canadians without a combination of new financial resources. It is argued that an option to purchase health care would provide additional resources to the system, including the selling of services to US patients.

Some people, especially privatization supporters also maintain that the “principles of universality and equitable access” in the Canada Health Act, conflict with a patient’s right to choose to pay privately and with a physician’s choice to provide special treatments to those payers. Privatization followers also say that this form of health care would relieve the pressure on the public system and thereby would benefit all Canadians. I believe that health care is not just another consumer product to be bought or sold. The current Canadian health care system provides a source of pride, equality, and national identity for all Canadians.

As has been presented, privatization of Canada’s world-class health care will lead to many disadvantages and it is evident that the answer to Canada’s problems is not privatization. An alternative form of the existing system, although harder to achieve, is needed to preserve Canada’s health care system, so that health care in Canada continues to be one in which equity of access, universality, and the ethical principles of fairness are maintained, and still accommodate any concerns about quality and government funding.One thing is for sure, whatever model is proven workable in Canada; it could become one so efficient that other countries may emulate it.

1) Paine, Harry. “Healthcare privitization is killing us! ” Dateline Canada, 21, 3 (October 2000) 2) Privatization of Healthcare Position Statement OECD, The Reform of Health Care Systems: A Review of 17 OECD Countries. Paris, 1994 3) Dirnfeld V. “The benefits of privatization.

” Canadian Medical Association Journal, 159, (September 1996): 407-410 4) Contandriopoulos, Andre-Pierre. The Future of Canada’s Healthcare System?, spring 2000, Internet, http://isuma. net/v01n01/contandr/contandr_e.

shtml Bibliography : 1) Paine, Harry. “Healthcare privitization is killing us! ” Dateline Canada, 21, 3 (October 2000) 2) Privatization of Healthcare Position Statement OECD, The Reform of Health Care Systems: A Review of 17 OECD Countries. Paris, 1994 3) Dirnfeld V.

“The benefits of privatization. ” Canadian Medical Association Journal, 159, (September 1996): 407-410 4) Contandriopoulos, Andre-Pierre. The Future of Canada’s Healthcare System? , spring 2000, Internet, http://isuma. net/v01n01/contandr/contandr_e. shtml