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This change in health policy comes on the heels of
the Supreme Court's ruling recently that said banning private insurance
for some health-care services, such as knee and hip replacement as well as
cataract surgery, was unconstitutional under the Quebec Charter of Rights.
The long waiting periods for people, mostly seniors,
were a hazard to their health.
Unfortunately, the promise to reduce the waiting periods
and provide better medical services seems beyond the
practical conditions of our health care system, and it
would seem that you can't draw blood from a stone.
Changing the practical conditions would require different
priorities economically, something neither the Liberals
nor Conservatives wish to undertake.
The present turn towards privatization is a band-aid
and comes at a very opportune time when the population
is aging. But the consequences are bound to lead
to inequities in health care, and bureaucratic headaches
in handling the government supplementation of special
There is a sense of desperation in this compromise,
indicating a lack of ideas in management in public health
care. Surely, it can't be that difficult for a
resourceful nation and province such as ours, to
come up with some creative ideas to correct these
problems. In Quebec for example, we have many
good (now almost empty) hospitals which could be renovated,
saving millions of dollars in mega hospital projects;
we could have a special tax for health care alone;
build more medical schools and lower the standards;
educate more nurses for home care of the elderly;