The Canadian Medical Association is again beating the drums for more private health care.
Currently doctors are supposed to opt out of medicare fully or else be in it fully. (Two of my doctors have opted out fully.) The CMA is now proposing that doctors should be allowed to work both in the public (medicare) sector and in private, patient-pays medicine.
The big advantage of this is supposedly to cut wait times. And certainly if you go from medicare to patient-pay, you open up a spot in the public sector. As it stands now you aren’t allowed, unless you’re truly rich, to spend your own money on your own medical care. Surveys tell us more and more Canadians – Quebeckers especially – are prepared to pay for private insurance. Already governments are paying astronomical costs for the public system. In Quebec, the government now spends 43% of program spending on medicare.
Would you, in certain circumstances, like to be able to spend your own money for your health care needs?
Would you be concerned that this might lead to two-tier health care where the better off would be able to access the system quickly, the less well off would have less access especially if many doctors opted out of the public system either fully or in part?