Health-care spending increases point to unsustainable future

Provincial governments need to start re-examining how their health-care dollars are spent or implementing meaningful health-care reform now

Health-care spending increases point to unsustainable futureBy Bacchus Barua and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute Health care is the single largest budget item for every provincial government in Canada. Increases in spending on health care can therefore have a significant impact on resources available for other government programs (such as education and social services), the tax system, and the government’s fiscal…

Health reform lessons from the Land of the Living Skies

Saskatchewan has gone from having one of the longest wait times, on average, for medical treatment to one of the shortest

Health reform lessons from the Land of the Living SkiesBy Jason Clemens and Bacchus Barua The Fraser Institute It may have been forgotten that it was Saskatchewan and not Alberta that led the way to balanced budgets in the early 1990s. Saskatchewan is again showing its proclivity for innovation and leadership, this time in the area of health-care reform. Towards the end of the…

Long health-care wait times costing Canadians time and money

Long wait times (and their consequences) shouldn’t be the price we pay for a universal health-care

Long health-care wait times costing Canadians time and moneyAn unfortunate reality of Canadian health care, is that long wait times that have characterized it for years have made us come to accept delayed treatment as the norm. What we often forget is that while some patients may be able to wait for treatment, others may be in considerable physical pain, may experience mental stress,…

Another reminder that Canada’s health-care system is failing patients

Patients still cannot receive timely treatment because of the confines of the government’s health-care monopoly

Shorter waits for hip-fracture repair, and eight out of 10 Canadians receiving “priority procedures” within government-defined benchmarks. Sounds pretty good, right? However, these highlights from the Canadian Institute of Healthcare Information’s (CIHI) annual update of Wait Times for Priority Procedures in Canada are little more than feel-good distractions from the real story: Canada’s health-care system…

The death of timely health care in Canada

The current system forces Canadian patients to wait too long for medically necessary care

The death of timely health care in CanadaA few days ago the Fraser Institute released its annual report measuring wait times across Canada. Much has already been said about the national results – that we’ve seen no improvement over the past three years, that this year’s wait is almost twice as long as it was in 1993, and that physicians are consistently…

Private health care plays important role in other countries

As other countries demonstrate, universal health care can successfully include for-profit providers

Private health care plays important role in other countriesBy Nadeem Esmail and Bacchus Barua The Fraser Institute Defenders of Canada's health system have long argued that there are only two valid policy options: we can have a universal health-care system dominated by government or a system where private, for-profit insurers and hospitals are present but universality is unattainable. The truth, however, is that universal…

Saskatchewan’s MRI policy puts patients ahead of ideology

Private scans are now also available to others beside professional athletes, politicians and those who can afford to leave the country

Saskatchewan’s MRI policy puts patients ahead of ideologyThe Government of Saskatchewan recently passed legislation that will allow patients to pay for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans using their own money. This move has, of course, caused many of those who are ideologically opposed to any involvement of the private sector in health care – even if it’s to the advantage of all…

There’s no such thing as “free health care” in Canada

Find out how much you are really paying

There’s no such thing as “free health care” in CanadaBy Bacchus Barua and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute The notion of “free health care” seems to have gained cult-like status in Canada. This is perplexing given that provincial/territorial government spending on health care (including federal transfers) accounted for 7.1 per cent ($141 billion) of the Canadian economy in 2014. And yet, time and again,…

Trump missed the mark on Canada’s healthcare

Canada's healthcare system a model to be avoided

Trump missed the mark on Canada’s healthcareBy Jason Clemens and Bacchus Barua The Fraser Institute As is often the case in U.S. politics, Canada’s healthcare system was raised during the recent Republican debate as a functioning alternative to the U.S. model. But when front-runner Donald Trump described Canada’s healthcare system as working just fine, he was out of step with the…

National drug plan idea filled with false assumptions

A national drug plan may simply end up subsidizing the drug consumption of people who don’t need subsidies

National drug plan idea filled with false assumptionsCalls for a government-operated national drug insurance program have been getting louder over the past few months, culminating most recently with premiers from across the country signing a “prescription” for national drug coverage. While there may indeed be legitimate concerns regarding the affordability of prescription drugs for certain groups, the notion that a national government-run…