Given the comprehensive evidence that illustrates the weakness of corporatized health care systems, this option should not even be on the table.
What, then, are productive solutions to Canada's current heath care woes?
Dr. Danielle Martin, family physician, V.P of Medical Affairs and Health Systems Solutions at Women's College Hospital, and Assistant Professor in Medicine and Health Policy at the University of Toronto, offers steps that could be implemented immediately to improve the health of all Canadians AND strengthen our economy.
Step one is "20 Drugs To Save A Nation." Bulk buying of medications through a public drug plan would reduce costs substantially. We could start now by bulk-buying 20 selected drugs, and eventually create a national pharmacare program which would save us as much as $10.7 billion per year.
Step two, "Less Is More" involves changing the culture of medical tests. We could improve health outcomes and save money by avoiding unnecessary testing and procedures.
The internet site www.choosingwiselycanada.org identifies the problems and dangers associated with unnecessary testing, and it explains "When you need them -- and when you don't."
Step three, "Sick With Poverty," is likely the most controversial, but it too would offer tremendous savings, as well as better health (and economic) outcomes.
Canada would save $7.6 billion per year on reduced health care costs alone if the crisis of poverty was responsibly addressed by discarding the current welfare system, and replacing it with a Guaranteed Annual Income system.
Evidence shouts that we could improve our collective health, and our economy, by improving, rather than rejecting universal healthcare -- and by shredding some of these corporate rights deals while we're at it.
All we need now is the collective will to make the right choices.
Appeared at Huffington Post