The cure for Canada’s failing universal healthcare system
One of the institutions that many Canadians take pride in is the universal health care system. So much so, that it has evolved to be an article of national pride and identity. In 1984, the Canada Health Act was created for the purpose of achieving a public health care system that provides reasonable access to medically necessary services. Canadians should realize that the publicly funded health care system is currently not achieving that purpose. The system is inaccessible, non-comprehensive and is an unsustainable burden on the economy. Consequently, the Canadian Government should implement a private health care sector which will strengthen the overall economy, be accessible and heighten the comprehensiveness of care in Canada. Firstly, the current Canadian health care system framework is becoming increasingly unsustainable and a secondary private health care sector will allow the public health care sector to operate in a sustainable manner, increase Canada’s sovereign debt rating and increase the budget for other economically beneficial government programming. To begin, implementing a secondary private health care system will discourage higher taxation rates. A recent report from British Columbia’s Finance Minister states that British Columbia is on track to be spending 71% of its revenue on health care by 2017 and if current spending on education is maintained at 27% there will be virtually nothing left for other areas of provincial responsibility (Stuart et. al). As seen in Figure 1, BC is not alone. In fact, Canadian Provincial Healthcare expenditures have been increasing over the past 14 years. In just 5 years Canada could face a severe fiscal budget crisis and in order to maintain current provincial programs they will be forced to implement creative new tax schemes to supplement government revenues. This use of fiscal policy will increase the cost of production and prices of goods and services. This will lead to a slow economic downward spiral, possibly ending in recession. However if the government implements a private health care system, Adam Smith’s theory of the invisible hand will take Figure 1 - "Is the health care crisis imaginary or due to a lack of imagination? | CARP Canada." CARP Canada | A New Vision of Aging in Canada. N.p., 26 Nov. 2010. Web. 9 Jan. 2013. <http://www.carp.ca/2010/11/25/is-the-health-care-crisis-imaginary-or-due-to-a-lack-of-imagination/>. Figure 1 -
"Is the health care crisis imaginary or due to a lack of imagination? | CARP Canada." CARP Canada | A New Vision of Aging in Canada. N.p., 26 Nov. 2010. Web. 9 Jan. 2013. <http://www.carp.ca/2010/11/25/is-the-health-care-crisis-imaginary-or-due-to-a-lack-of-imagination/>. effect and the competition will cause private health care providers to compete to reduce costs and prices. This will in turn reduce the burden on the government. Furthermore, a private health care sector will also free up provincial budgets for the government to spend on the economic growth of this nation. Healthcare quarterly stated in a recent publication that “If increasing health costs come at the expense of other areas of public expenditure, in the long run, this too will affect Canada’s competitiveness. Education and investment in infrastructure are critical… to longer-term economic development.” (Stuart et. al) Consequently, the rising costs of health care are causing an impending decrease in government spending on infrastructure and education. This will dampen Canada’s ability to compete on the international market. If Canada cannot compete with other countries for exports and trade, the GDP of the country will suffer and thus Canada will face a contraction period in the business cycle. The privatization of care will then provide an alternative that will not disrupt the Canadian economy’s ability to compete on the global market. Thirdly, the increasing costs of health care are causing...
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