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Simply repeating the same irrational arguments will provide no relief for patients left waiting in Canada’s overcrowded emergency rooms.

Claiming competition will improve health care quality defies all common sense.  Lengthy wait times and overcrowded hospitals are due to a chronic shortage of trained and experienced health care workers. How can our public system possibly be improved and made more efficient by dividing already scarce resources?

Furthermore, assumptions that the private sector is more cost efficient in delivering health care are being proven false time and time again. Earlier this year, the Vancouver Island Health Authority tossed aside a privatization plan because no private-sector bid could provide services cheaper than the existing public system.

To solve overcrowding we need to move beyond the tired public vs. private debate. Instead we must focus on finding innovations in health care delivery which strengthen the universal public system, and renew commitments to training and retaining health care workers.