Liberals to open up medicare

Liberals to open up medicare

“The federal government will not stand in the way of provinces that want to “experiment” with medicare by hiring for-profit private companies to deliver medical services within the publicly funded system, says Health Minister Pierre Pettigrew.”

I’m pretty sure the NDP will freak, but there needs to be some real leadership on this issue.  The status quo system already eats up about 50% of government revenue in Saskatchewan.  If a private company can deliver better services funded by the government why not let them.  There is a clear need for innovation in this space and all the public system can do is ask for more money.

  1. #1 by Lyle McRae on April 28, 2004 - 10:47 am

    This is where I am unsure of my opinion. Because the one thing I always liked about Sasktel, is that even though it cost us more money, the money created jobs in Saskatchewan.

    So if these private companies were created, is it possible that our money gets shipped off to another country and jobs lost….

    Tough Question and hard answer.

  2. #2 by Leighton Tebay on April 28, 2004 - 11:04 am


    It is a tough issue. The looming problem is that health care costs grow at twice the rate of the economy. The boomers are about retire, and most of our health care dollars are spent on the last 6 months of a persons life. Fast forward 10 years and it becomes very clear that the current system is unsustainable.

    Because health care is administered by the provinced but partially funded federally the provinces simply refuse to rennovate the system. The point the finger at Ottawa and ask for more money.

    Your point about health care dollars flowing out the country is a good one. That is mitigated by the taxes a private company would pay.

  3. #3 by Nathan P on April 28, 2004 - 11:53 am

    This is a frighteningly new concept for most Canadians. We like the fact that there’s the appearance of stability to the system. It seems that many simply aren’t thinking about the near-future consequences of leaving things as they are. I’m apprehensive about what changes lie ahead for our health care system. But I’m not blindly wishing things could stay the same. There has to be change, no question about it.

  4. #4 by Leighton Tebay on April 28, 2004 - 12:29 pm


    I honestly believe that if the provinces were tough they could rennovate the system themselves without having to farm out services to the private sector.

    I think we need to look at what really frightens us. We think private health care and we automatically think of the United States where 20% of the population has no health care and a large percentage have poor health care. I think we also need to consider Europe where many countries have public/private health care and on the whole they spend less per person on health care than we do.

  5. #5 by Jordon Cooper on April 28, 2004 - 4:07 pm

    I am not that worried about it as the writing is on the wall for the current system. Skyrocketing costs with the baby boomer all hitting retirement age (less tax revenue and higher healthcare costs). Something HAS to be done and at least this is something.

  6. #6 by Jordon Cooper on April 28, 2004 - 8:44 pm

    Or Pettigrew got yelled at by the PMO and backed down from all of it.

  7. #7 by Leighton Tebay on April 28, 2004 - 9:04 pm


    After reading the response I’m starting to wonder if politicians can read. When I read what I did I got the impression that Ottawa would let Alberta innovate on the fringe with private delivery. It’s not two tier and it isn’t an endorsement of private care.

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