Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
Expectations were high as Roy Romanow, the sole Commissioner on The Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada, tabled his weighty 356-page report with 47 recommendations. Overall the report is a good one, one that sends the right message to the Liberal government. Canadians want a strong public health care system and they are expecting Romanow’s recommendations to guide the way.

There is no question that Romanow’s report is the most important report on health care in Canada since the Royal Commission headed by Emmett Hall. We need to claim some victory that Romanow’s report contains as many positive recommendations as it does. However, we also need to be aware that the positive recommendations are primarily focused on strengthening public insurance and expanding coverage, rather than on strengthening public delivery and prohibiting for-profit delivery of care.

While the text of the report is considerable, there are many details still to be worked out in the implementation of the recommendations. It is here where we must be diligent in

our efforts to understand the content and intent of the recommendations and to interpret them from our own perspective. The process of formulation of social and fiscal policy is important and we cannot take it for granted, nor can we cede it to others. Progressive voices must continue to be heard in order that the detail of implementation is not lost among the generalities of the recommendations. In simple terms, we need to be certain that we end up with what we thought we were going to get.

Now, it is time to step back a little and take a sober second look at the report and its recommendations. What does it really say when all the excitement and anticipation is stripped away? Does the report meet our expectations? Just what do we think?