Private clinics sucking resources from medicare: report

#1 (external - login to view)


TORONTO — There has been a national explosion of private health facilities with little policing by the federal or provincial governments, a report says.

The Ontario Health Coalition says they found evidence in private clinics of a 89 possible violations of the Canada Health Act in five provinces, including Ontario.

The violations include extra-billing patients for medically necessary services or selling queue-jumping services for a fee of thousands of dollars that let patients quickly access family doctors and specialists.

The first for-profit MRI clinics opened 10 years ago but in the last five years private surgical and boutique clinics have opened.

Every part of the country has been the target of for-profit clinics, except for Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut, the report found.

The coalition said there are 42 for-profit magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography clinics, 72 private surgical hospitals (excluding cosmetic surgery facilities) and 16 "boutique" physician clinics in Canada.

Their report, "Eroding Public Medicare: Lessons and Consequences for For-Profit Health Care Across Canada,'' is being released Monday.

"The contention that for-profit health care can exist along with a public system is not true," said Natalie Mehra, the report's author and director of the coalition. "It is a take-away from the public health-care system."

The deep cuts to Canada's health sector in the mid-1990s set the stage for a privatized system, she said.

So now American health delivery systems are vying for a share of the market.

Federal and provincial governments have not been fast enough to respond to the changing market, she added.

"We need to build the public pressure to make them do that," said Mehra.

The health coalition also noticed that wait times appear higher in areas with the most privatization as health-care workers stretch their time between hospital and private clinic.

For instance, Montreal is one of the hardest spots to get a family doctor, yet has quite a few private "boutique" clinics selling two-tier care for wealthy executives and companies, the report notes.

The vast majority of people can't afford to pay the private clinics' prices so they wait longer to see a doctor.

"For-profit clinics siphon out scarce specialists' time and (schedule) medically unnecessary procedures," Mehra said.

Queue-jumpers who can afford to pay at private clinics do so, and that means people in the public system wait longer, she added.

In Ontario and Manitoba, Mehra said, they found local hospitals have reduced MRI hours because technologists have gone to for-profit clinics.

We can thank the Liberals and Conservatives for this.
Quote: Originally Posted by PraxiusView Post (external - login to view)

We can thank the Liberals and Conservatives for this.

You have that right.

The fact is private health care does not reduce wait times it extends them, only an idiot would not see this.

Health care is better in Europe, why do we not model our system on ones like France where there are no wait times and care is excellent.

Nope, we are to busy trying to become the U-***.
This has been ongoing for years with little or no oversight from the politicos. Even the NDP has been quiet on this, as the private health care boys continue to worm in, with the blessing of the Libs and Cons.

The Canada Health Care act has been violated time and time again, and we are going a la USA of no coverage unless you have the money - whether we like it or not.

Stinks to high heavens. Someone's getting paid off big time. Betcha!!

No one has mentioned this in this election.

I'm surprised people are surprised.

I heard people bashing Harper during the debate in regards to how the Conservatives are pumping in more private health care and companies from the US to take money away.
lone wolf
Where do you draw the line? Even hospitals are closing their labs to cut costs and farming testing out to the clinics. Is it public health care if the card covers it?
Scott Free
Chances you'll get better on your own: 80%
Chances a doctor will make things worse: 10%
Chances the doctor will make you better: 10%

How much is that really worth?

I have recently known three people with cancer and the doctors have fragrantly lied about their prognosis. As a result they have opted for chemotherapy which is a factor in 4% of patients survival after 5 years.

It seems to me BS is the biggest drain on our health system.
I avoid the system as much as I can.

I've had serious problems and waited them out.

Luckily I have a great doctor going on eight years now.

We agree that once every six months is good for both of us.

Now the vaunted HCS is under attack.

......that cliff is looming....for all of us.
Quote: Originally Posted by Scott FreeView Post

Chances you'll get better on your own: 80%
Chances a doctor will make things worse: 10%
Chances the doctor will make you better: 10%

I'd love to see any real facts to back that one up. Nearly 100% of my patients would die on their own. I do think we're a little biased on the doctor angle though. They survive also because of our dieticians, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, case managers, and nurses too.

Back to the topic at hand.... private clinics will always siphon resources from the public system (including staff and money). Anyone who says otherwise is just lying.

Similar Threads

Ontario Private Clinics Illegal
by Jersay | Jan 30th, 2006
Ontario to buy private clinics
by Cyberm4n | Jul 27th, 2004
no new posts