An issue being heard by the Supreme Court of Canada [on 4 June 2004] has the potential to dramatically change how we view Canada’s medical/health care system and possibly even the June election. The Supreme Court is hearing a challenge brought by two Quebec physicians arguing that the Canada Health Act violates the Canadian Charter. Currently, it is illegal for any Canadian citizen to purchase private medical- or hospital-care insurance. The Canada Health Act dictates that all such services must be provided under the government program.
With the political rhetoric surrounding the health care issue, and the fear of “two-tier medicine,” with levels of care, it appears the majority of Canadians have turned off their intellect.
I believe it is reasonable to assume that 60% or more of Canadians could afford to purchase their own medical- and hospital-care insurance, which one might expect to be similar to the cost of car insurance. If this becomes the case, it would reduce the provincial and federal governments’ health care costs by 60% of their current medical/hospital-care expenditure, thereby leaving the government with more than ample funds to provide a first-class medical health care service.
I hope the Supreme Court makes the right decision.
—Wm. W. Arkinstall, MD