The new president of CMA supports more private involvement. This is the trend as worldwide capital searches for new areas of profit. The prison-industrial complex is one noteworthy development now we have new areas of health care being developed as profit centers. This is happening even in so-called socialised or universal health care systems. Contracting out of food services, janitorial services, medical records, are obvious new profit area developments. The CMA proposals simply expand this trend. At the same time it would create a two tier system. Many doctors in Canada support medicare but our system retains the fee for service system and also provides a guaranteed payment avoiding collection problems. It is not surprising that many support it but then no doubt many want more still.
CMA unveils vision for medicare
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 | 12:05 PM ET
The private sector should be contracted to deliver publicly funded health-care services, the president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) said in a document released Monday.
In the document released in Charlottetown, association president and P.E.I. cardiologist Dr. Colin McMillan said the private sector could offer a "safety valve" to ensure waiting-time guarantees are met when the public sector is overtaxed.
"There may be a growing role for the private sector in the delivery of publicly funded health care provided that it delivers services in a cost-effective manner."
—Canadian Medical AssociationThe CMA recommends that doctors be allowed to work in both the public and private sectors to maximize the availability of medical services.
CBC "There should be a designated fund wherein people can access as a matter of last resort in the public area their care wherever it can be best delivered, geographically and by subject area," McMillan told CBC News.
To achieve that goal, governments should look to private health care, according to the CMA. "There may be a growing role for the private sector in the delivery of publicly funded health care provided that it delivers services in a cost-effective manner," says the CMA's policy paper, Medicare plus: toward a sustainable publicly funded health-care system in Canada.
"As with the public sector, any private-sector involvement in health care must be patient-centred as well as transparent and accountable."
Quebec currently offers this kind of private-sector option on a limited basis, but the CMA wants to see that system expanded across the country.
The plan outlines several key public-private initiatives:
When access to timely care cannot be provided in the publicly funded system, Canadians should be able to use private health insurance to reimburse the cost of care obtained in the private sector.
Governments should establish uniform requirements and regulation where appropriate for measuring quality of care in both public and private settings.
Governments should continually evaluate the quality and cost-effectiveness of public-private delivery options.
Governments should allow physicians to have choice in their practice environments, including the right to opt out of the public health insurance program, provided that patient access to publicly funded care is not compromised.
Governments should examine practice arrangements where physicians are able to work in both the public and private sectors to maximize the availability of medical services.
McMillan said there aren't enough health-care professionals to meet the current demand, and the provinces and Ottawa must work together to increase those numbers.
He would also like to see a closer examination of what medicare should cover in the face of the growing demand for prescription drug therapies and long-term care.
With files from the Canadian Press