Public health care remains the most affordable way to bring accessible, quality health care services to all Canadians. Its much cheaper for governments to buy and deliver services than it is for us to pay individually. If the federal government gradually restored its health care funding to 50 per cent, wed have the money we need to improve and strengthen Medicare.
And if all governments moved to control drug costs, extend services and promote health, there would be real savings to be reinvested in quality care. Instead the same provincial governments pushing privatized health care
BC, Alberta and Ontario, for example are taking scarce dollars out of the public system to pay for tax cuts and slick ad campaigns and to boost corporate profits.
WITH FOR-PROFIT HEALTH CARE, WELL ALL PAY MORE
Evidence the world over shows us that for-profit health care costs more than public health care.Just look south of the border. Per person, the US system costs more than double the Canadian system yet 43 million people go without any health coverage. And 500,000 Americans are bankrupted each year by medical expenses.
Why? The US model has the highest administration costs of any country in the world and investors must be guaranteed a profit.
Some provinces are pushing private hospitals and so-called “public-private partnerships” (P3s). But in Britain, P3s have proven a bad deal for taxpayers, who wind up footing the bill for the extra costs that come with private sector financing.
USER FEES HIT WOMEN, SENIORS AND YOUTH
User fees shift the cost of health care from the healthy and the wealthy onto the shoulders of the sick and the less well off. Studies show that people avoid health care when they are afraid they cant afford it especially women, seniors, poor people, and the chronically ill.
As a result, they get sicker, and often wind up in hospital. This drives up costs, and it flies in the face of Medicares most fundamental principle that health care will be available to everyone when we need it, not just when we can afford it.
SHORTER LINES FOR SOME, LONGER WAITS FOR MOST
Promoters of for-profit health care will tell you privatization is the way to shrink waiting lists. In fact, studies in Alberta comparing private and public waiting times for cataract surgery show exactly the opposite. Patients not only waited longer for operations at the private clinics, they were also hit with hefty user fees.
PRIVATIZATION WILL DESTROY MEDICARE
Those who promote for-profit health care will tell you privatization will ease pressure on the public system.The opposite is true. Health care providers will be drained from the public system and well see a shortage of front-line caregivers and clinical staff.
Driven by the profit motive, the private sector will pick up only the easy treatments that deliver big returns. The public system will be left to provide more complicated, long-term and costly care.
PUBLIC HEALTH CARE WORKS FOR ME!
Every day in Canada, the public health care system delivers accessible, effective, quality health care to millions of people. Some provincial governments claim Medicare is in crisis, so they can justify massive cutbacks in health care funding, jobs and services. And corporations promote this myth, because theyre looking for lucrative business opportunities.
But the facts are clear. Health care spending in Canada is not out of control. And Canadians get much better value for their health care dollar than our neighbours to the south.
MODERNIZE, DONT PRIVATIZE
We all get sick. And like it or not, were all getting older. So we all have an interest in improving healthcare. We dont want two-tier health care. And we dont want privatizers, trade deals or Enrons to destroy Medicare.We want to reform public health care so that it meets our changing needs. The key questions are whether were going to pay for it fairly through our taxes, and whether were going to protect health care budgets from corporate profits. Public health care. The right answer to the real questions.