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Comrades! Cease your counter-revolutionary activities!

The Canadian Medical Association has decided (subscriber only link) to examine the issues involved in allowing more private health care in Canada:

As a key part of its annual meeting in mid-August, the doctors have organized a session titled ''Charting the Future -- Public: Private Interface in Health Care.'' Physicians from across the country will debate resolutions -- some of which are likely to propose various types of health care privatization.

In an interview, Dr. Schumacher stressed the CMA strongly supports the publicly funded system, but said it also has a responsibility to examine all options -- including privatization -- to strengthen the entire health system for patients.

He said the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling that allows patients to purchase private insurance so they can get speedier private medical care has increased the need for such a debate.

''Doctors have a role in this debate. They maybe even have a leadership role because we're probably going to be out first in an organized fashion to talk about it."

"But it has to be a societal debate. It's just not us. We're going to have to engage the public,'' Dr. Schumacher said.

The CMA president said he is hoping for a more ''mature'' debate than the one that has dominated political discourse in the past decade, when any time anyone mentioned privatization, it was immediately equated with the U.S. health system.

''The public system is not being blown up,'' Dr. Schumacher said. ''We're not going to American health care. You're still going to have 95% of the services of the country delivered by our universal insurance. It's that other 5% -- just like in Europe. That's likely where it's going.''

Dr. Schumacher urged politicians to ''set aside dogma'' and stop treating private health care like some ''bogeyman to be trotted out during an election campaign.''

"The important thing is we need to talk about the terms without the inflammatory, incendiary words. We need to sort out the language. Because every time the politicians speak about this, it's Darth Vader.

"As soon as you say private, they add words to that. It becomes 'private-for-profit, from-the-United States,' etc., etc."

But Health Commissar Ujjal Dosanjh rejected the CMA's calls for a mature and dogma-free debate, and responded by summoning one of the Party's pet bogeymen:
But Mr. Dosanjh said it would lead to the destruction of medicare, and he urged doctors to exercise caution in reviewing such options.

''I don't see a great rush to set up private health care, because we have a very recent experience," he said of the Canadian public. "Forty-five years is not a long time in the life of a nation. There are people who still remember the dark days of private health care, where people had to sell their farms and sell their homes to care for their loved ones.''

Is anybody else somewhat worried that our government is advising its citizens against talking about the greatest crisis facing our country today? That they continually lie about the complimentary mix of public and private care that manages to exist in every other developed country of the world? The health system as it stands in this country is getting worse, and another five-year-plan by the Party isn't going to fix it. We have to start looking at alternatives or the system will eventually collapse.


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