When Three’s a Crowd in Canadian Health Care
Three’s a crowd when government prohibits you from spending your own money on health care. In Canada, our provincial and territorial governments decide which medically necessary services will be paid for and how patients can access them. It’s true that the party paying the bill gets to call the shots. The Saskatchewan government recently contracted with a private clinic to help reduce the number of patients on waiting lists for MRI and CT scans. It’s likely that patients in the neighbouring province of Manitoba will be waiting even longer for their tests after their provincial government decided it didn’t need help reducing its waiting lists.
Three’s a crowd when the interests of health care worker unions and professional associations are squeezing out your health care interests. Private delivery of health care is often fiercely debated by unions, professional associations and special interest groups. When the government of Saskatchewan proposed contracting with a private surgical clinic to help reduce patient waiting lists, health care unions launched a public campaign claiming that it’s not in the best interest of patients. Really? Show me a patient who is not interested in timely access to surgery. Through arbitration the unions successfully limited the length of the surgical contract and the number of surgeries for Saskatchewan patients.