To the Editor:

The majority of needed health care services in Canada are covered by our health care system, but many services are not. Therefore it may not be as universal as most Canadians believe. Many medications are not fully covered, as well as several services which become unavailable due to age (Sorry, you are too old for…). Physiotherapy is also age restricted and may not be available regardless of age in the public sector. Once a patient is approved for physio treatments, the wait time for appointments are lengthy in the public sector.

Both public and private sectors are subject to opinions for or against. Many of the beliefs about care, on both sides, are not necessarily real. Again it is FEAR of differentiation.

As a couple, my wife and I have both been exposed as patients/customers in both segments. The private sector seems to more readily adapt and implement newer procedures and improved (new) equipment. Newer is better, carries a lot of truth.

As a retired sales person in the health care segment, I witnessed how the private sector adapted new methods and equipment faster than the public sector. The private sector did not have to rely on government approvals at federal, provincial and often regional levels, or deal with evaluation periods and the reporting to specific committees for approvals. However
equipment often required CSA approval for all segments.

Private sector fees are often thought of as being costly. An example: is our cataract surgery. The costs of the procedure is covered and paid for by OHIP. We paid a small fee for a rush appointment, and some modest fees for certain upgrades, just as we would have to do in the public sector. One advantage of private care is that surgery was completed on both eyes in two days following the first appointment. Follow up was completed later the same day.

There are many examples to support both private and public health care. There are private services, including minor surgery clinics across Canada which are being used by Canadians as well as (believe it or not) our neighbors to the south – who choose to pay and then claim from their own private insurance companies. In Canada the greater majority of private clinics can and do bill the
province that covers the patient directly.

Get the proper information before condemning either side. See who is protecting some ivory towers, groups of employees, health care professionals, association groupings depending on of government financing, subsides, regular membership dues and fees.

Regardless, with the mess health care is in across Canada, it needs less government and major outside help to before it collapses completely – if it hasn’t already.

Private sector health care needs to be recognized NOW. Not in a future election.

Richard Charest, Vankleek Hill