National pharmacare will be very expensive and likely unnecessary

National pharmacare will be very expensive and likely unnecessaryAccording to reports, the Trudeau government may unveil a national pharmacare program in Wednesday’s throne speech in Ottawa. The program may be based on last year’s Hoskins’ report, which recommended an expensive top-down Medicare-style approach that would artificially set drugs prices, restrict patient choice and limit private alternatives. Not only would such a program drive…

Alberta should seek more autonomy in health care 

Welfare reform in the 1990s provides a starting point for reforming health care today

Alberta should seek more autonomy in health care By Jake Fuss and Bacchus Barua The Fraser Institute On Wednesday, Alberta’s Fair Deal Panel issued its report detailing 25 policy recommendations to expand the province’s influence within the Canadian federation and enhance provincial autonomy. However, one crucial policy option was not discussed at length – the potential shift of health-care decision-making powers to the…

Many Canadians pay a great deal for ‘free’ health care

The amount we pay for health care through the tax system depends on family income and size

Many Canadians pay a great deal for ‘free’ health careBy Milagros Palacios and Bacchus Barua The Fraser Institute The fall federal election showed that politicians across the spectrum are happy to promise to spend more on our government-run health-care system. Whether the spending is for long-term care or pharmacare, the political solution to any health-care problem seems to be to pump more money into…

More money won’t necessarily solve health care problems

Instead of asking for more money and all the strings that come attached, the provinces should ask for more freedom to try new delivery models

More money won’t necessarily solve health care problemsBy Bacchus Barua and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Despite their differences, it seems Canada’s premiers are united in one thing: demanding more federal health-care dollars. But nobody talked about the price the premiers must pay for the money from Ottawa: the freedom to design and implement policies that could actually improve care. At the…

Canada can learn from Swiss and Dutch drug coverage

Both countries partner with the private sector and expect patients to share the cost of treatment

Canada can learn from Swiss and Dutch drug coverageBy Bacchus Barua and Kristina Acri The Fraser Institute The Liberal federal government seems poised to propose a national pharmacare plan in time for the Oct. 21 federal election. Many proponents note that Canada is the only industrialized country featuring a universal health-care system that doesn’t provide universal coverage for prescription drugs. However, those same…

The fundamental fallacy of universal drug coverage

A program to provide prescription drugs to all Canadians is wasteful and wrongheaded. We should simply be targeting those who need help

The fundamental fallacy of universal drug coverageAs a parliamentary committee in Ottawa drafts its report on the possibility of a national drug plan, a new study estimates that roughly one out of every 12 Canadians who required a prescription in 2016 had difficulty paying for it. The authors also estimate that one million Canadians reduced spending on food and heat due…

Canada’s health-care wait times hit new record high

Although we know that universal systems elsewhere deliver more timely access at similar or lower costs, we still pursue wrong-headed policies

Canada’s health-care wait times hit new record highCanada’s national shame is at a record high, with no cure in sight. In 2016, we hit the 20-week mark for the average wait time for treatment by a specialist (across 12 medical specialities) after referral from a general practitioner. Twenty weeks is a far cry from the 9.3-week wait measured by the Fraser Institute’s…

Looking beyond our borders for health-care cures

Compared to other countries, Canada has a high-cost system that delivers mediocre, and sometimes remarkably poor, performance

Looking beyond our borders for health-care curesAs patients, caregivers and taxpayers, all Canadians care deeply about our health-care system. It’s important to us that the system has the necessary resources, is accessible, and delivers high-quality treatment at an affordable and sustainable cost. Unfortunately, it’s increasingly clear that we have a high-cost system that delivers mediocre, and sometimes remarkably poor, performance. That's…

The hidden, and high, cost of “free” health care in Canada

We have one of the most expensive health-care systems in the world, yet other countries with universal health care routinely outperform us

The hidden, and high, cost of “free” health care in CanadaIt seems like a simple question: how much do you pay for public health care? And yet it’s one that most Canadians would struggle to answer. Many would say “it’s free.” Others may point to health-care premiums in provinces that charge them. And those more familiar with the statistics may cite the amount Canada spends…

Private health care isn’t the problem, it’s part of the solution

While some patients may be able to wait for treatment without suffering adverse consequences, many others may be in pain, unable to work or live full lives

Private health care isn’t the problem, it’s part of the solutionRecent news reports about private payments for medically-necessary procedures in British Columbia tell an important story about a group of desperate people who are being oppressed by those in power. But based on headlines castigating “double-dipping” doctors conducting “illegal” activities, one might mistakenly think that physicians are the antagonists in the story. The real oppressor,…
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