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

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

Patient user fees are compatible with universal health care

It’s no coincidence that countries with cost-sharing programs in place have waiting times significantly shorter than those in Canada

Patient user fees are compatible with universal health careA prominent feature of Canada’s health-care system, as mandated by the Canada Health Act, is the absence of any charge for publicly insured health-care services at the point of consumption. Unfortunately, this has led to the mistaken notion that such “first dollar coverage” is a necessary component of universal coverage for health-care services. In fact,…

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…

Wait times continue to drag health care outcomes down

It will take political courage to improve Canada's health care system

Wait times continue to drag health care outcomes downI spent my life teaching actuarial science at a university. As a result, I calculated lots of numbers: averages, expected values, variances. But, they were only numbers. What I didn’t see was the individual human story behind each calculation. But now that I am the human face of one of those stories, I see it…

Healthcare reform needs citizens’ voice

Even those who are health literate are stymied because information about the potential benefits and harms of care is difficult to find

Healthcare reform needs citizens’ voiceCanadians want better healthcare, but participation in health system reform is difficult. Ordinary citizens and governments are left in the dark because there is a shortage of useful information about health system performance. Citizens are unable to get timely information about waiting times for care, the results of care, or the rate of preventable mistakes…

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…

Report card on wait times gets a failing grade

The Wait Time Alliance missed some important new developments in Alberta

Report card on wait times gets a failing gradeBy Don Dick and Linda Woodhouse University of Alberta Canadians might have been inclined to take a sedative for an anxiety attack after reading about the Wait Time Alliance’s (WTA) 2014 report card on waits for medical care in Canada. The WTA gives Canada a failing grade on the structural changes it says are needed…