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Private health insurance litigation.

By | Law Times on Aug 29 2013

From In the News

Lawyer Chris Schafer, executive director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation that’s financially supporting the Cambie clinic and McCreith cases, couldn’t be more diametrically opposed to Flood’s viewpoint.

Schafer points out that Canada is the only country within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development with a ban on private health insurance.

“We’re the outlier,” he says. “If anyone is doing things differently and doing it poorly, it’s Canada. We want to be doing the things that other OECD countries do. These are good comparative countries that allow the purchase of private insurance along with copayments and other measures.

Their waiting lists are shorter and their outcomes are better. Private and public systems can coexist.”

Viccars suggests Canadians are beside themselves with worry about their health. “The public system can’t provide the care in a reasonable time,” he says. “We need better access to specialists, scans, and surgery for non-life-threatening conditions from minor things to heart bypasses.”

Schafer is frustrated that the issue is often a debate about rich versus poor. He points out that the two plaintiffs in the Ontario litigation are ordinary people as one of them owns an auto-body shop and the other is a self-employed mediator.

“They believe the monopoly in health care could have killed them. They are pursuing the court case so other Canadians don’t have to go through the same thing. The fact is that health care isn’t serving the poorest segment as well as it could.”

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