So Much for the Wonders of Canadian Health Care

Let’s see. The U.S. is supposed to follow Canada in nationalizing health care because it’s such a wonderful success. NOT!

A  former Liberal Party health minister in Quebec has proposed several reforms, including expanding the role of private providers. It seems that the existing system risks collapse. Reports the Toronto Star:

The architect of Quebec’s now-overburdened public health-care system is proposing a strong and controversial remedy that includes further privatization and user fees of up to $100 for people to see their family doctor.In a 338-page report, former provincial Liberal health minister Claude Castonguay concluded that Quebec can no longer sustain the annual growth in health-care costs. The province currently spends about $24 billion annually on health care, or about 40 per cent of its budget.

“If nothing is done, at one point we will reach a crisis point … this is why we say it is urgent to act,” Castonguay said. “There’s no miracle solution, there is no simple solution.”

Castonguay told a news conference in Quebec City that his report is consistent with the guiding principles of publicly funded, universal health care.

However, it makes a raft of bold recommendations, including:

A new tax, including a “health-care deductible” based on income and the number of visits made to a doctor’s office or hospital in a calendar year. Low-income families and children would be exempt.

Encouraging private-sector involvement in the management of hospitals and medical clinics.

Lifting a ban that prevents doctors from practising both in the public system and privately.

Raising the provincial sales tax by up to one percentage point.