Today's Debate: Canada junking national health?

Summary:Contrary to what some conservative bloggers here are writing, Canada is not getting ready to junk its national health care plan and take up the American system.Instead, its Conservative government may allow some private insurance as a supplement, following a report from the Canadian Medical Association stating more money is needed to clear backlogs on specialized treatment.

Canadian flagContrary to what some conservative bloggers here are writing, Canada is not getting ready to junk its national health care plan and take up the American system.

Instead, its Conservative government may allow some private insurance as a supplement, following a report from the Canadian Medical Association stating more money is needed to clear backlogs on specialized treatment.

The problem, as everywhere, is matching unlimited demand against limited supply. The aim of the Canada Health Act is that class should not determine your lifespan. The problem is that most choices are made by provinces, some of which are spending 43% of their tax income on health.

Dr. Brian Day Canadian Medical Association presidentSo, the CMA says, let in more private insurance money, be willing to send patients to the U.S. if they can't be treated locally, and let doctors work in both systems.

The report was submitted just before Dr. Brian Day (right), who operates a private hospital, becomes CMA President. Day is expected to push for more private insurance, more private care, and what opponents call a "two tier" system in which those patients who can afford more get more and those doctors who can earn more earn more.

But more is the operative term here. No one in Canada wants to do away with its Medicare system. Not even Brian Day.

Topics: Health

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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