The Star stated in its editorial that "in Calgary, the cost of a hip replacement in a private hospital under contract to the government is 10% higher than in the public system." A private clinic that actually delivers timely services costing only 10% above the non-competitive, status-quo monopoly? (And what if real competition was introduced?) In other words, despite decades of bravura, our socialized, Tommy Douglas-invoking public-sector system, with all its waste and subsidy, can only muster a feeble 10% reduction in costs? And when the Star cites that heart operations in Canada cost about half of what they are in the States, it doesn't mention how long a Canadian patient would be forced to wait for that privilege, compared to a patient in the U.S.
Meanwhile, our Supreme Court has just confirmed the obvious in last month's (June 2005)Quebec Chaoulli decision: that access to a waiting list for healthcare, is not actually access to healthcare.
The Star didn't name the Calgary facility, or cite the source of its statistics.
But, are patients going to and utilizing this clinic? Does the clinic reduce wait times, stress, and inconvenience for its patients? Does it have better equipment, better service ptotocols, or better staff, than the public system? Were patients satisfied with their care, and would they recommend it to others in need? Does the clinic pay its fair share of property and income
taxes out of its earnings?
Answering yes to any of these questions can only be good news for overtaxed
Canadian patients who want change, and need choice.