Monday 12 December 2005

Is Co-Operative Medicare The Savoir Of Universal Healthcare?

The adoption of Canada Health Act in 1984 establishes the provision of universal healthcare in providing essential medical services to all Canadians without economic or access barriers. It forbids health professionals and institutions from rendering priority medical care to individuals in return for financial compensation. For the past two decades, our universal healthcare system remains to be a pinnacle achievement by Canada in attempt to deliver efficient and cost-effective medicine. Still, the merit of public versus private healthcare has been an ongoing debate between proponents and opponents of our current system.

More recently, co-operative medicare has been promoted to be the ultimate savoir of our degenerating healthcare system, where public medical care coexists with limited priority medical care that are available to individuals who are willing to pay for “extra” service. Proponents argue that the establishment of such two-tiered system will jeopardize neither quality nor equity of medical care for Canadians. Yet, it is unclear at present how such protection can be guaranteed. In the US, variations in quality of medical care have been linked to the coexisting delivery of managed care and public care. Last month, Canadians witnessed the opening of Canada’s first private primary care centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Copeman Healthcare Centre offers services to primary care physicians and in-house specialists for an initial enrolment fee and an annual service charge. Last week, Vancouver’s Cambie Surgical Centre announced plans to open a for-profit surgical hospital in Ontario. As a healthcare professional myself, I believe the prima facie proof must always be the delivery of timely quality medical care to “all” people who seek such service, regardless of what healthcare system or systems may ultimately be employed. If co-operative medicare is to be instituted, the ethical ramification and resource repercussion must be thoroughly explored by all key stakeholders (not just those who may benefit) before it should be made available to Canadians.

By Philip Jong • At 12:16 AM • Under Column • Under Health • Under Work • Under World
Public Post • CommentsTrackbacksPermalink


Your Comments

  • Comments are visible only to registered members.

My Related Entries

Enter Your Comment





Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Submit the word below for security verification