While Canadians are being denied excellent health care by their government under the pretense that allowing duly qualified physicians to provide care on a private free enterprise basis to those patients who opt to pay for it, there are some rays of hope that some buds of the two-tiered system are sprouting up in various areas in Canada. They are often in areas where they are not too easily standing out from the weeds, for fear of being ruthlessly stamped out by the dictators who don't want the folks to discern that there is an alternative.
One such sprout is Dr.Brian Day of the Cambie Surgery Centre. Dr.Day, is an orthopedic surgeon, who has served as President of the Canadian Medical Association and is an Honorary Associate Professor of the University of British Columbia. He has launched a lawsuit challenging government laws that ban private insurance for medical services. The Supreme Court of Canada abolished laws banning private health care in Quebec, stating that "access to a waiting list is not access to care".and "The evidence shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread and patients die as a result of waiting for public care." There is something very wrong when citizens of one province enjoy constitutional rights that are denied to others. The Government is denying Canadians the right to buy services that they are unable or unwilling to provide. It is difficult to understand how the government has managed to convince citizens that allowing a private parallel system would result in a deterioration of the standard of care when in fact, it would result in an improvement of available services and a significant shortening of waiting times. It would also shorten pain, suffering and disability times. There is a reason government resorts to these unethical tactics with very specific goals in mind, which I will go into later. In the meantime we will return to the story of Dr. Day. Dr. Day contends that if the government cannot provide a medical service within an acceptable time then it does not have the right to prevent those suffering from obtaining healthcare privately. Dr.Day and some patients are challenging the constitutional right of the government to prevent patients from buying health care. Nine years ago Dr. Day and the clinic filed a charter challenge to BC's ban on private health care, as they violate a section of the Canadian charter of rights. This case is still going on nine years later. The trial did not start until September 2016 and it looks as though it will continue for a long, long time at an inestimable cost. After initial judgement it will, no doubt go on to the Supreme Court. It will cost millions and millions of dollars and government will do everything in its power to delay it and to have the other side run out of money. They don't have to be concerned, because they are spending your money and if they are running low, well they'll just put up your taxes a bit. They think you're too stupid to even notice - and they may just be right!
If you are willing to put up with one of the worst, if not the worst health care systems in the developed world, then you just have to be satisfied with what you get when your time comes and you or a member of your family needs timely and compassionate care- and it will. Meanwhile, those who do their research and prepare themselves properly will at least be aware of the options when and if the time comes. Because, while third class care is better than none, most of us want something better for ourselves when something serious comes along, especially the politicians and their serfs.
Finally, as one who has practiced medicine for more than half a century, let me tell you most physicians have grown exasperated and weary of having the course of medicine determined by a group who have little insight into health care and are not interested in learning about it. Most of the dedicated physicians I know are looking for a way out, not because of greed but because of the Stupidity Quotient (SQ) of the elites in administering the service and the deliberate disrespect they show to physicians. Early retirement is increasingly attractive when conditions of practice becomes increasingly intolerable and taxes become increasingly punitive. We are already losing some of our most experienced and talented physicians.
In the meantime for the sake of the public and for the sake of the profession, I hope Dr.Day and the Cambie Clinic are successful.
Please do not leave a comment if you do not care what happens to the health care system in Canada.