The evidence from all OECD countries shows that the private sector is far more bureaucratic and much less efficient than the public sector when it comes to providing health care.
Ten Health Care Myths
Gentlemen from Hooker - and many other places - are quite literally pouring these and many other poisons into your coffee and your kids' juice. They just do it in a more indirect, anonymous, and apparently socially acceptable way.
150 Years of Dirty Water
To the Editor, Globe and Mail:
Re Monopoly isn't working -- Letters, October 21, 1998:
Patrick Hewlett of the Ontario Physicians' Alliance rightly observes
that Ontario's crisis-provoking Harris government is mismanaging
the province's health care system.
A pity, then, that Dr. Hewlett uncritically parrots the Tories'
free-market fundamentalism with his claim that "government-run
health-care monopoly is unable to provide efficient health care".
In fact, the evidence shows that the private sector is far more
bureaucratic and much less efficient than the public sector when
it comes to providing health care.
For example, when Germany shifted dental services from the public
system to private insurance, administrative costs tripled from 5%
The United States, which has the most privatized health care system
of any OECD country, has been spending 14% of its GNP on health
care, compared to 9% for Canada. Health care administrative costs
are three-and-a-half times higher in the U.S. than in Canada, and
administrative costs for health care insurance, specifically, are
six times higher in the U.S. than in Canada's public system.
The efficiency of the Canada's public medicare system is reflected
in the quality of care as well as on the balance sheet. Studies
shows that on average, Canadians are more likely to receive needed
care quickly than Americans. Canadians get more physician visits
per capita than Americans, more immunizations, more hospital admissions,
and more surgical procedures. A survey of 10 OECD countries showed
that Canadians were the most satisfied with the care they received,
while Americans were the least satisfied. In fact, Canadians are
five times more likely to be satisfied with the health care they
receive than Americans.
Infant mortality, maternal mortality, and life expectancy were
worse in Canada than in the U.S. before the introduction of medicare.
Canada's infant mortality rate is now only 70% of that in the U.S.,
while American women are almost twice as likely to die during childbirth
as their Canadian counterparts. The average Canadian now lives two
years longer than the average American. Not a bad track record for
a system that is supposedly "unable to provide efficient health
Rather than advocating the destruction of Canada's public health
care system, critics like Dr. Hewlett should be speaking out against
the Harris government's strategy of running the system into the
ground by mismanagement and underfunding.
22 October 1998
See also: Ten Health Care Myths