StudentS – The Health Care System

At first glance, privatization might be seen in a positive light, as those individuals who could afford it would jump the queue – in turn, the waiting line…

According to StudentS , the quarrel over whether privatization of the Health Care System is beneficial is an ongoing and heated debate. Individuals in favor of the privatization quote numerous benefits, the primary argument being: a reduction in waiting times for all patients. While there is no question that the waiting times for medical care are a pressing issue, I believe privatization is no feasible solution. The overall standard of service received under the proposed new Health Care system would no doubt decline. Furthermore, privatization would undermine our Canadian values of equality for all individuals. Our belief that each citizen has the equal right to receive medical treatment would be challenged if a tiered Health Care system was enforced.

At first glance, privatization might be seen in a positive light, as those individuals who could afford it would jump the queue – in turn, the waiting line would be shorter for the remaining patients; however, another contributing factor to a shorter waiting line, would be the simple fact that those individuals recognizing that they cannot afford to receive medical care, would neglect to seek help. Privatization of health care alone would not suddenly increase the amount of physicians available to treat patients, nor would it suddenly free up time for physicians to see more patients.

As it stands right now, emergency room patients are treated on a basis of severity, not who can pay a higher fee. I believe introducing a private health care system would give an unfair advantage to the wealthy, while potentially neglecting those individuals who, while greatly needing the help, cannot afford it. The social question then arises over whether judging an individual’s worth through monetary values alone is justified. Surely one’s salary level does not determine just how valuable he is to society? Privatization of Health Care would certainly mean some individuals simply would not have access to the aid and services they require. It seems this model of health care is a very self-serving prophecy, rewarding those few wealthy proponents while leaving others to fend for themselves. Another potential downfall would be that the general level of service overall will undoubtedly decline. Those medical professionals with the necessary level of skill to charge a higher fee will be enticed to service only those who can afford it, whilst the greater majority of patients could potentially be left with few qualified health professionals to choose from.

While a select few would reap the benefits of privatization, it is hardly justification for seeing Canada’s universal health care system, rated one of the best in the world, crumble. To allow a tiered health care system to be implemented would be to take away the entitlement of each and every Canadian for equal treatment under the healthcare service. The consequences of privatizing our health care system are not limited to the realm of public health. If the above proposition were to occur, the likelihood that other services in our society, such as education, would follow suit is a scary thought indeed.