2006 February 26 Sunday
Private Health Care Ban Collapsing In Canada

The Canadian Supreme Court finally recognized the barbarity of the Canadian government simultaneously outlawing private medical care while failing to deliver taxpayer funded care in a timely and high quality manner. As a result another socialist regime is falling apart.

The country's publicly financed health insurance system frequently described as the third rail of its political system and a core value of its national identity is gradually breaking down. Private clinics are opening around the country by an estimated one a week, and private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine.


Canada remains the only industrialized country that outlaws privately financed purchases of core medical services.Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other politicians remain reluctant to openly propose sweeping changes even though costs for the national and provincial governments are exploding and some cancer patients are waiting months for diagnostic tests and treatment.

But a Supreme Court ruling last June it found that a Quebec provincial ban on private health insurance was unconstitutional when patients were suffering and even dying on waiting lists appears to have become a turning point for the entire country.

"The prohibition on obtaining private health insurance is not constitutional where the public system fails to deliver reasonable services," the court ruled.

Yes, governments do not have a right to prevent people from spending their own money to prevent their own deaths. There is nothing virtuous about this barbaric ban.

Need to see a specialist? Come back 2 months later.

The median wait time between a referral by a family doctor and an appointment with a specialist has increased to 8.3 weeks last year from 3.7 weeks in 1993, according to a recent study by The Fraser Institute, a conservative research group. Meanwhile the median wait between appointment with a specialist and treatment has increased to 9.4 weeks from 5.6 weeks over the same period.

Private MRI clinics are opening in Canada. Soon many Canadians will be able to get MRI scans as quickly as their dogs and cats can. Now, that's progress. What's next? The collapse of Castro's regime? Or will the North Korean regime go down?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 February 26 10:06 PM  Socialism, Capitalism

Bob Badour said at February 27, 2006 7:08 AM:

I would really like to see a breakdown on those wait times. I suspect the average median is so low because of lots of referrals to less important specialists like ears, nose, throat specialists and audiologists. The last time I had a referral to a gastro specialist, the initial appointment was 9 months after the referral with the actual procedure another 3 months after that.

The problems are much worse than a median 9 weeks might lead one to believe.

Jorge D.C. said at February 27, 2006 1:06 PM:

Canada, UK, Germany, France, Sweden etc. all have been riding a 60 year peace dividend from the US since WWII. And still socialism - the insidious disease - breaks down.

The only reason the US hasn't completely succumbed is the electoral college system which prevents urban elites from utterly proscribing the concerns of the small town populations (where common sense resides).

What does a nine month wait matter if you're a Canadian transnational elite? You simply hop a jet and access the free market. Incredible that private care has been outlawed up there. That could only happen to a population without the right to bear arms.

Carl Shulman said at February 27, 2006 5:10 PM:

The system, dysfunctional and immoral as it may be, is very popular up here. Government agitprop has emphasized it as a point of difference between Canada and the United States, where the poor supposedly die on the streets (rather than using Medicaid or free emergency rooms in a country where the government spends more per capita than in Canada, BEFORE the large private role). Also remember that most people don't need surgery, so they don't have personal experience with the wait times, but do enjoy the goodies of everyday medical services without premiums, copays or deductibles.

Kenelm Digby said at February 28, 2006 4:14 AM:

The mentality behind these people who strive to outlaw private medicine is identical to the motives actuating the scholl-yard bully, who sees another boy with an expensive, shiny brand new toy - that he doesn't have, and his parents will never buy for him - and the the first instinct of the bully is to snatch that toy and destroy, so nobody can have it.
It really is as elemental and childish as that, forger all the pontificating about "morals" and that "health" is somehow "sacred" and "above market inequalities".The roots of such manifest childish behavior - that most of us abandon at the age of 5 or so are unequivovally Freudian.
The British Labour party, before it was knocked into shape by blair had a similiar manifesto policy regardng "private education".
But where does "private education" end pray? Did they include driving lessons, piano lessons, guitar lessons etc?- the whole thing is a nonsense which smacks of nasty, petty little minds.
Of course "public" provision of education is the real historical anomaly for thousands of years up to the mid 19th century, all schools, in every culture , country and historical period were stictly private.

Ned said at February 28, 2006 10:42 AM:

Government-run health care - what a great idea! Let's have the people who run FEMA, the post office, Amtrak and the Defense Department take care of us when we get sick. Sounds like a winner!

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