• There’s room for competition in public health care

    … in Britain, any reforms which encourage competition and choice are viewed as covert attempts to privatize our revered NHS (National Health Service)… Reforms in England have sought to increase competition between hospitals for public funds. The bottom line is these have benefited patients – but introducing more choice and competition also means the rules of the game need to be carefully designed and monitored.

  • Medicare doesn’t have to be expensive. Just look at Israel

    … per-capita pharmaceutical spending in Israel is $287… well below that of Canada’s $761 and the OECD average of $527… several features of the Israeli approach… include the setting of an annual budget; the consideration of all proposed new medications simultaneously… the involvement of all key players in the prioritization process; using the prioritization process to secure concessions… – price and volume; and a growing level of transparency.

  • How to improve Indigenous health? Address jurisdictional disputes

    Despite having been involved in the funding and delivery of health services to First Nations and Inuit since 1945, the federal government has yet to clearly define its obligations to First Nations and Inuit in relation to the provision of health services… More than 80 per cent of First Nations and Inuit communities now manage their own community-based health services. Evidence shows that these communities have better health outcomes.

  • What’s at risk for Canada in the American health-care war?

    If strong provisions that exclude health care from free trade are not maintained, and in fact strengthened, in any renegotiated trade agreement, American insurance companies and health-care delivery organizations could claim the right to a Canadian private health-care “market.” … not far from here, health-care insurance is a good that is sold in the marketplace like softwood lumber.

  • Patchwork drug plans flout the foundations of medicare

    Ontario has seven (soon to be eight) distinct public drug plans… Despite the number of state-funded programs, almost half of Canadians rely on private insurance for coverage, most of which is employer-based… In Ontario alone, one in four people between the ages of 25 and 64 do not have drug insurance, according to Health Quality Ontario.

  • One-handed applause for youth pharmacare plan

    … once a popular pharmacare scheme is in place, it will be politically difficult for any government to kill it. Fiscally, the Liberal drug plan has the advantage of being cheap — largely because younger people tend to be in good health. Officials say it will cost roughly $465 million a year, a relatively small amount for a government that spends more than $140 billion annually.

  • Drug plan shows Ontario Liberals still have a few tricks left

    The so-called “OHIP+” plan will make prescriptions free for children and young people – anyone who’s 24 or younger – beginning next Jan. 1… It’s a push towards universal pharmacare, the most glaring gap in Canada’s medicare system… a national plan would be cheaper and more efficient than province-by-province solutions. But if Ottawa won’t take the lead, it’s good to see Ontario stepping up.

  • The public interest in binding arbitration for doctors

    … it has been argued… that government should not agree to arbitration for physicians, because this would result in unwarranted and unreasonable compensation increases for physicians… contrary to this bald assertion, the experience in provinces where binding interest arbitration for physician compensation is in place… is that, where physicians are treated fairly and respectfully, they have proven themselves to be more than willing and responsible partners in working with government to improve the health care system.

  • Provinces get their cash, but do we get better health care?

    In the end, both Ottawa and the provinces/territories will be getting almost exactly what they asked for at the negotiating table… nobody really compromises and everyone saves face. What matters in the end is not whether we have one health accord or 13 health accords. What matters is: Will the transfer of these monies result in better health care?

  • If you like Canada’s liquor, transit and electricity monopolies, you’ll love the medicine cartel

    The [CMAJ] study… claims billions of health dollars could be saved if Canada were to adopt universal public coverage of prescription medications, aka, pharmacare… Nobody would argue that Canada’s pharmaceutical system is cheap or the most efficient. Thanks to a balkanized regime under the control of provincial jurisdictions with a heavy federal oversight, the dominant structure is one of central planning, not market forces.