Free Research Proposal About Provision Of Private Healthcare In Canada
Healthcare in Canada is provided by a publicly funded system regulated by the government. The healthcare services are free at the point of use. Although the healthcare system is government, there are a myriad of services provided by the private sector. The Canadian Healthcare Act of 1984 regulates private and public healthcare services. The Canadian health care system is administered provincially to increase the administrative simplicity. The Federal government is not encompassed in the daily administration of healthcare services, the information exchanged between the patient, and the doctor remains confidential. The Canada Healthcare Act does not cover home care, the provision of glasses, the prescription of drugs and dental care. Most Canadians pays out of pocket for these services or rely on the private insurance to cover the costs. Private health care expenditure amounts to 30 % of the national healthcare financing.
Canada uses the Beveridge model of healthcare system. The system relies on the government for funding just like the military and the police force. The Canadian healthcare system also recognizes private players in the health sector. In Canada, the government is the major player but not the single player. Doctors working for the government are not allowed to practice in the private sector. The interplay between the Beveridge model and the out of pocket model has raised a lot of controversy in healthcare debates across Canada. The government-controlled model is the best for Canadians since it caters the needs of both the affluent citizens and the citizens who live in reduced circumstances. The current model of healthcare is appropriate since it provides for the mental and physical health needs of those interested in the private sector and public sector.
Some of the questions that the paper will attempt to answer how is the history of the healthcare in Canada affecting the provision of private health care systems. The second issue that the paper will explore is whether the system is effective in the delivery of the health services. The next area of concern for the paper would be does the publically funded health care system affect service provision in the private sector. Why is Canada experiencing an excess of doctors and yet a shortage of physicians has been recorded in some parts of Canada? How does the provision of the private health care services affect the excess of doctors in Canada and the inadequacy in some regions of Canada?
History of Healthcare in Canada
In the 18th-Century, health care in Canada was provided through non-profit making organizations. Hospitals were centers for providing healthcare to the elderly and the sick. The Catholic churches and Protestant churches funded them. The government regularly subsidized the healthcare to alleviate the burden of covering healthcare. In 1820, the first medical hospital was established providing medical education to young would be physicians. William Osler played a crucial role in the establishment of medical school in Canada. Osler wrote ‘The Principles and the Practice of Medicine’ a book, which dominated the medical education for over forty years. Calls for the greater government involvement began during the great depression. Canadians suggested the idea of national insurance system, and it started to gain popularity. Doctors who had initially rejected the idea began to support it since the involvement of government would stabilize the already suffering medical community. Government involvement in medical coverage started in the provinces. Soon every province authorized the provision of healthcare services. It is apparent that the original organization of healthcare delivery was out of pocket payment. The Canadian government was not directly involved in the provision of healthcare services in Canada. The Canadian Health Act of 1984 delivered an enormous blow to the private healthcare sector. However, the private industry still survived the total private healthcare expenditure is 30 percent of the national healthcare spending. The Canadian Healthcare Act of 1984, though a landmark legislation did not cover costs such as the prescription of drugs and dental care. Private healthcare centers have flourished under these loopholes. Private healthcare is gaining the ground as a reliable health care system in Canada. It provides an assortment of services such as dental care, cosmetic surgery and other luxurious treatments not available under the public healthcare system. Private medical insurance cover is also willing to cover the costs of cosmetic surgery and dental care. The waiting lists in the government hospitals make the affluent members of the society prefer private hospitals to public ones.
The private healthcare system in Canada is more efficient than the public healthcare system. The long wait list in public hospitals is a catastrophe and a patient is likely to die in the public health hospitals than in the private sector. The cost of medical care in the private hospital is expensive, but the threat of litigation makes the provision of health care in private hospitals to be of high quality. Inadequate policy and decision making in the public health sector makes patients to prefer private hospitals to public hospitals. The current system is aligned to the quality of the hospitals rather than the quality of the healthcare delivery. The costs are high in the private sector, but the quality of healthcare delivery corresponds to the quality of healthcare.
The Canada Healthcare Act
Privately funded healthcare services are allowed under the Act of 1984. The prime intention of the Act is to protect and promote the physical and mental wellbeing of all Canadians. One of the weaknesses of the Act is that it does not cover the provision of services such as abortion. Since at the time when the act was passed the provision was contentious, the Canada Healthcare Act does not include abortion as a medical service. The Act seeks to promote public administration of health care, comprehensiveness and the universality of the healthcare. The standards, as mentioned above, are also applied in the private sector. Doctors working in the public sector are not allowed to work in the public sector. The public administration of health services was meant to tame the wild market of private health sector players. Private healthcare services are highly scrutinized to ensure that they meet the standards mentioned in the Act. The judicial system also applies the same level of scrutiny.
A student of the Canadian health care system will eventually realize that the Canadian system is a two-tier system of healthcare. The private sector operates under the same principles outlined in the Canadian healthcare act. Services in the private sector are expected to adhere to the same standards as the public sector. The private health sector is prone to litany of medical malpractice suits. The doctors in the private sectors do not receive an annual salary, but they receive pay per visit fees. In some provinces, there are laws that prohibit the provision of private healthcare services. In 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Chaoulli v. Quebec (Attorney General) held that the prohibition of private healthcare violated the fundamental freedoms and rights of all those concerned. The landmark ruling is said to have opened the doors to the private sector involvement in the heath area.
Excess of doctors
The Canadian government trained physicians to handle the number of patients in the public hospitals. It allowed doctors from other parts of the world to study and practice in the Canada. The increased number of physicians was meant to handle the rising number of the elderly in Canada. The influx of doctors happened between 1990s and 2000. At the same time, Canada was also concerned about the increase of clinicians to bypass the physician’s population ratio. The Canadian government realized the mess that was about to happen raised the qualification of medical students. The number of doctors increased for some time then reduced. The majority of the physicians who were trained during 1990s and 2000 before the Canadian government increased the qualification often find themselves unemployed. Since the public health care system cannot absolve all of them, the private sector absolves some of them. The menace of unemployed doctors, when there is a shortage of physicians around the world is a policy misapplication by the decision makers in the health sector. The majority of the unemployed physicians are concentrated in the urban centers of Canada while the remote areas especially the northern region recording an acute shortage of doctors.
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