The future of health care and the June election

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

William W. Arkinstall, MD. The future of health care and the June election. BCMJ, Vol. 46, No. 6, July, August, 2004, Page(s) 274 - Letters.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

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