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Canada’s health care system is under threat. Private investors, many based in the United States, are clamouring to cash in on Canadian health care. In June 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the province of Quebec is permitted to purchase private health insurance for publicly insured services when waits prove unacceptable. Federal politicians jumped into the fray by making wait times the only issue of debate in the recent federal election. Both the Conservatives and the Liberals offered up wait time “guarantees,” ignoring the real problems in Canada’s health care system that are causing longer wait times.
But the answer to wait times is not to let some people pay their way to the front of the line. Private health care is more expensive, drains resources from the public system, limits access to those who can afford to pay, and puts patients at risk by cutting corners in favour of corporate profits.
Profit is not the cure. It’s time to stand up for public health care.