A Point of Pride

Note: This post originally posted at: kristograph.tumblr.com/post/83954513136/canadas-free-healthcare-has-always-been-a-point

It has been re-posted here with the author’s permission.

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Editor’s note: We appreciate and value the author’s analysis and summary of the various sources that she examined and believe that it speaks to the passion amongst young people for this issue. After reading the author’s graphic, our partners at the B.C. Health Coalition had two comments on the statements made in the graphic below that we wanted to share with you:

1. The Medicare Protection Act won’t necessarily be repealed following the court case, though a win in court for Dr. Day would open up B.C.’s public health care for private business.

2. While private insurance won’t become “necessary” to access health care, many will have to rely on private insurance to get the care that they need.

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Canada’s free healthcare has always been a point of pride for many Canadians. But this one legal battle could change all that.

Dr. Brian Day, owner of the Cambie Surgery Centre, has engaged in a legal battle to replace Canada’s Medicare with a private health care system. His win would mean that doctors would be able to set any price they wish; private insurance will also be needed to access good healthcare. If Day’s system is implemented, many doctors will follow his steps to work in for-profit clinics, putting a strain on doctors and nurses in the public system. This will make longer waits while the elite can just pay their way to access.

Private clinics are great for those who can afford to pay the high fees. But what about the people who can’t afford it? The privatization of health providers will give care quickly to those who can pay; if you can’t, well, that’s too bad for you. You’ll just have to wait.

I, for one, do not support Day’s bid for the privatization of healthcare. Public health care allows even the poorest to access the care that they need when they are sick or injured. Increasing for-profit care is not a way to fix the public system; those clinics will provide care only to those who can pay.

The system that we have currently is not perfect, but it does do some things right. The services provided by BC’s health care system is based on need rather than the ability to pay. A win for Dr. Day will spell the end of this system.

I believe in a health care system that provides equal access to quality health care for everyone, without any preference for income or ability to pay.

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