Maclean’s Magazine and the Canadian Medical Association – representing more than 57,000 doctors across Canada – are hosting a series of town hall forums to engage the public on the issue of rebuilding Medicare.
The alliance should raise more than few eyebrows given Maclean’s continual advocacy for more private for-profit health care. In the on-line backgrounder, Maclean’s quotes the Frontier Institute, an extreme conservative think tank for which free market ideology is the answer to almost all questions. It also highlights the OECD’s call for more user fees, a clear violation of the Canada Health Act.
And, of course, they quote Brian Mulroney’s call for an adult conversation.
The reality is we have been having an adult conversation. The problem is, Mulroney, Maclean’s and the Frontier Institute are not getting the ear of Canadians for a good reason: there is no evidence to suggest that private for-profit delivery of health care works. If so, the United States would be the most efficient health system in the world. Instead, they’re dead last among modern industrialized countries in most key measurable categories. Canadians get that.
Maclean’s also raises the Frontier Institute’s nonsense argument that we could be more like the Europeans if we allowed two-tier private health care. The reality is a greater share of health care is publicly paid for in Europe than it is in Canada. Among the G7, Canada is second to the United States in per capita spending on private health care. It represents a little over 30 per cent of our total health spending. If we were to be more like the Europeans, we would make more of that 30 per cent public, not create even more private health care.
The CMA/Maclean’s tour comes to Toronto’s St. Lawrence Hall on March 1st from 7 to 9 pm. To attend the televised event you need to register by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org