Two-tier health care troubling
Re PCs making secret moves to back private health care, Hepburn, Jan. 10
As Bob Hepburn explains, under the guise of embracing change and new models of patient care, Premier Doug Ford is aiming for a two-tier health-care system in Ontario.
Numerous jurisdictions have shown that two-tier systems do not improve wait times or health outcomes. Private clinics siphon doctors and specialists from the publicly funded system with financial incentives, creating longer wait times in the public system. For-profit private clinics have less incentive to provide good quality care. The more they spend on the patient, the less there is for profits.
Patients using private clinics often pay extra for services that are free in the public system. This was the case in 2012, when Dr. Brian Day, founder of private clinics in Vancouver was found to use improper billing practices, including charging patients for services covered by the public system, in violation of the Medicare Protection Act.
We dare not allow two-tier health care in this province. Pamela Mulligan, Grimsby, Ont.
As a supporter and user of Ontario’s public health system, I am deeply troubled, but not surprised, reading about Doug Ford’s covert plans to create two-tier health care.
A responsible and ethical government would strive to achieve better health outcomes and aggressively reduce health costs. Reducing redundant diagnostic tests, encouraging healthy lifestyles and regulating environmental hazards that impair health, like noise, air and water pollution, are good places to start. Harold B. Smith, Toronto