We have much to fear from private health care

Re: “There’s nothing to fear from private health care,” comment, Sept. 1.

Gwyn Morgan claims there is nothing to fear from private health care. I beg to disagree.

The most serious fear that I have is that allowing access to needed health care to be determined by ability to pay destroys the principle of equity and fair play. My Canada believes that health care is a human right and should be based on need.

We have the clear example next door in the U.S., where there is outstanding health care for some, but primarily available on ability to pay. Overall health outcomes in the U.S., such as lifespan and infant and maternal mortality, do not match those of countries where equity is the determinant of access.

Consider Cuba, which has much better health outcomes than the U.S. and at least as good as Canada’s, but has an inexpensive system in which doctors are trained by the government at free medical schools, and get paid a few hundred dollars a month. But every Cuban has a family doctor and the emphasis is on prevention, not repair.

Are there things that need improvement in our system? Yes, overly long wait times and disparate levels of care in rural versus urban settings need fixing, but private health care will not contribute to solutions.

The provinces and the federal government need to work together to solve them, probably by organizational changes such as promoting group practice and better utilization of health-care specialists such as nurse practitioners and pharmacists.

National pharmacare and dental care must become part of our health care system for it to achieve the best health outcomes.

Edwin E. Daniel


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