Monday, November 19, 2007

Regina Leader-Post calls on Saskatchewan to bring private options to medicare

Saskatchewanians aren't used to seeing their team in the Grey Cup nor their mainstream media looking for private health care. But this, and the swearing in of the first non-NDP government in 16 years, are all happening this week.

A Regina Leader-Post editorial says,

Former Saskatchewan health-care commissioner Ken Fyke warned almost eight years ago that huge annual increases in health spending aren't sustainable and other social programs could suffer -- but the big spending continues. Indeed, the Canadian Institute for Health Innovation reported last week that Canada's health spending is up by 6.6 per cent this year -- "the eleventh consecutive year in which health-care spending is expected to outpace inflation and population growth."

What's missing at the national and provincial levels is a profound debate on the innovation that might make the system more affordable -- from fees for some non-emergency services to more private-sector delivery within a publicly funded system.

Saskatchewan's new government has the opportunity to launch that debate this week in the birthplace of medicare.

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