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 is in response to 'LETTER: Private clinics 'parasite' on the body of public health,' published Jan. 18.
I have to disagree with the (letter to the editor) about private health care being a negative result and costing taxpayers more money.
It says that private health care will “steal” trained staff and that they’ll cherry pick to take only the easy cases. How does the writer come to that conclusion? First of all, they wouldn’t be ‘stealing’ anyone. If they offer more, then it’s up to the individual to accept the job or not. If anything it will employ more doctors and nurses as well as compete with the public sector, which makes the public sector pick up their game to stay in business.
As far as cherry-picking patients, yes, they’ll no doubt acquire patients with more money and have less wait times. But what that does is free up those times that would otherwise be booked in the public system, therefore freeing up the public care facilities to be more efficient, since every patient going to a private clinic is a space freed up at a public clinic. E.g., if you’re last in a line of 12 people and the private clinic takes one-third, now you’re last in a line of eight people.
It won’t cost the public because it’s a private institution. They make their money off their patients, not the taxpayers. Which again, with less patients going to the public clinics, will mean less spent, therefore more time and resources for those who need it.
Where the article says the private clinics would take on only the less complicated patients, that simply makes no sense, especially when approximately 30,000 Canadians annually visit private clinics in the U.S. for treatments that are either more difficult or unable to be acquired in Canada.
One last point is that the best health-care system in the world is Sweden’s, which has both public and private health care.