Saskatchewan Party Government Looks To Expanding Private - 'For Profit' - Health Care Model
"If I have ten tax dollars to spend on health care .. I want to spend that ten dollars providing 'health care' to citizens ... not $9 for services and $1 for someones profit margin."
Roy Romanow - 1995
Canadian Health Commissioner
Former Premier of Saskatchewan
Unfortunately, those on the hard Right see health care services in Canada as a commodity. They ideologically believe that Canada should have either all or most medical services provided as a 'fee for service' payable by the individual health 'consumer'. That's the model that they have had in the USA and which left 40,000,000 Americans without basic health insurance. (Oh, and just for the record, the single greatest cause of personal bankruptcy in the US is inability to pay medical bills).
In Canada, primary hospitalization and health care has had a public element that ensures accessibility for all Canadiains ... not just ones who have lots of capital resources and can afford to pay.
But now we find that Saskatchewan's Right Wing Premier Wall is trying to pull a fast one and explore ways to infuse much, much more private - for profit - corporate elements into health care in Saskatchewan.
Health care memo raises privatization questions
According to an internal health care memo, more than a dozen core health care departments will undergo a “business case development.” With the Sask. Party’s privatization of health care laundry services earlier this week, the NDP wants to know how much of health care the Sask. Party could privatize.
“The people of Saskatchewan deserve to know how far the Sask. Party might push privatization in health care,” said John Nilson, NDP health critic. “A privatized system risks putting profits ahead of patients.”
The memo, sent jointly from the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and Shared Services Saskatchewan (3sHealth), describes a three-year plan “for business case development, which will create the forum to bring people together to identify opportunities and develop the strategy to achieve them.” The memo notes that 3sHealth will use private consultants to help develop the business cases.
The NDP said it is time for the Sask. Party to publicly draw a line in the sand, telling people what it would consider privatizing and how much health care in Saskatchewan might change.
The health care departments listed in the memo include:
- Laboratory services
- Medical imaging services
- Information technology / information services
- Supply chain services
- Environmental services
- Transcription services
- Capital project management services
- Enterprise risk management
- Pharmacy services
- Facility services
- Internal audit services
- Food services
- Business intelligence services