Treating COVID-19 requires better public health care, not more private care for the wealthy
Doctors Danielle Martin and Danyaal Raza say the COVID-19 crisis is no excuse for moving towards private competition in Canadian health care.
By Pat Van Horne, USW member of the CHC Board of Directors
Martin, a family physician and chair of family and community medicine at the University of Toronto’s Termerty Faculty of Medicine, and Raza, past board chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, point to a need to centralize health care resources and assign them to the areas of greatest need.
In a recent Toronto Star article, Martin and Raza said: “Imagine if, at the height our successive waves of COVID-19, health-care workers had been working in private hospitals providing elective care to wealthy Canadians, instead of working where they were most needed?”
The doctors said that, even before COVID-19, Canadian health services under medicare, like hospitals, received less public funding compared to other public health care systems worldwide. At the same time, they said, “Countless other areas of care that currently fall outside of the public system – like prescription drugs, psychology, dentistry, long-term care and home care, already exist in a two-tier system.”
“Rather than turning to private solutions for public problems, we should strengthen public health care with programs that will improve our population health, like pharmacare.”
Martin and Raza say the only rational way to structure a health care system is “to direct the care where it is most needed, rather than toward those who can best pay for it.”
The Canadian Health Coalition works closely with Canadian Doctors for Medicare, and supports their important intervention in “The Cambie Case.”
- Read “The Saturday Debate: Does COVID show Canadian health care should have more private competition?” in The Toronto Star published on November 6, 2021.