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A group of British doctors have urged their Canadian counterparts to heed their cautionary tale on the perils of privatization.

Dr. Jacky Davis and Dr. Peter Fisher, executive officers with Britain’s National Health Service Consultants Association have written a letter to CMA President Brian Day and meeting delegates about how various forms of private involvement have harmed Britain’s National Health System.

Proposals to endorse some of these failed practices are on the CMA meeting agenda in Vancouver next week.

Some of the lessons from the UK:

  • Activity-based funding, (called “payment by results” in the UK) where funding is provided based on volume and type of service provided, has lead to increased hospital admissions and administrative costs.
  • Use of the private sector to deliver public health care has lead to higher costs for inferior care
  • The so-called “patient choice” agenda has lead to a competition where public facilities must compete at a disadvantage against private ones.
  • Onerous debt repayments from Public-private partnerships used to construct new hospitals have put hospitals under serious financial pressure
  • The British Medical Association recently voted to oppose payment-by-results and has passed a unanimous resolution favouring collaboration over competition.