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LETTER: Privatizing health care more about partisan politics

'It makes sense to me that a private clinic can do some procedures faster and with less cost than a hospital,' says letter writer
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BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to 'Ontario releases 3-step plan to invest in private health care,' published Jan. 16.

Lately, I have been picking up information in regards to private health-care clinics and many questions that have come up.

To begin, hasn’t private health care been part of our lives for many years? When was the last time you paid a fee to see the doctor? 

Did you get your flu shot? Were you charged for it. Unless I am mistaken, an MD/GP is a private entity.

Did you have an occasion to get an X-ray? If so, was it done at the hospital or a private clinic like Georgian Radiology?

I am a diabetic, so I need frequent check-ups. I go to a private clinic for them to draw blood. Don’t you? 

My father had an operation for a hernia; he went to a private clinic to have the procedure.

If you need surgery for sight, where do you go?

Hasn’t private care been with us for a very long time? Have you ever had to pay out of pocket? In considering this option facing us, the majority of the countries in the world seem to have integrated private clinics and, unless I am wrong, when you consider the cost of health care in Canada, the cost of health care in these countries is much less.

It makes sense to me that a private clinic can do some procedures faster and with less cost than a hospital. The staff at a clinic are used to performing a specific task, perhaps even able to perform these procedures safer than in a hospital.

They don’t perform heart surgery and laser vision at the same time, do they? There is likely less risk of infection or disease, simply because there are fewer patients.

Perhaps my view is wrong, however I can see the benefits, as the physicians and nursing staff undergo the same rigorous training that any doctor at a hospital would have. The difference is they are focused on one specific operation. In fact, don’t many of these physicians have hospital privileges?

Most of the criticism seems to me more focused on partisan politics without any actual data on safety and cost.

Just some thoughts.

Gordon H. Crawford