About the Book
Canadians are deeply worried about wait times for health and this
book explores whether or not two-tier health care is a solution.
Entrepreneurial doctors and private clinics are bringing Charter
challenges to existing laws restrictive of a two-tier system. They argue
(wrongly in our view) that Canada is an outlier amongst developed countries in
limiting options to jump the queue.
In this book, leading researchers explore the public and private
mix in Canada and within countries such as Australia, Germany, France and
Ireland. We explain the history and complexity of interactions between public
and private funding of health care. We also explain the many regulations and
policies found in different countries used to both inhibit and sometimes to
encourage two-tier care (for example, tax breaks). If a Canadian court strikes
down laws restrictive of two-tier, Canadian governments can (i) permit and even
encourage two-tier care to grow; (ii) pass new regulations that allow a small
measure of two-tier care; or (iii) take positive steps to eliminate wait times
in Canadian health care, and thereby reduce demand for two-tier care. We argue
for option three as the best means to ensure Canadian principles of equity in
access, ensure timely care, and fend off constitutional challenges.
This work is critical not only for court challenges
but also for Canadian governments who need the best evidence possible about
different approaches to regulating two-tier care if they are forced by a court
to revisit existing laws as a result of a successful Charter challenge.