Are we slipping towards private healthcare system

Was reading the following article: Walkom: Why Ontario’s bid to cut health-care costs could backfire

The article is good and there is nothing new for the initiated, but tells a lot to an average reader.  It talks about the possibility of having greater private participation in delivery of healthcare in Ontario.  Something along the lines of Medicare in US, where government reimburses private institutions for care delivered to those above 65.  

Privately delivered publicly funded healthcare system won’t work as the models are entirely different. Private organizations would want to maximize the profit, whereas government would want more for less. Just as in Medicare, you’ll see examples of overbilling caused by unnecessary appointments and tests. And where is the guarantee that the care will be better? Or closer home, it will be very similar to OHIP.

In general there are two modes of payment: capitation and those based on disease coding. In capitation system they have incentive to keep patient healthy. The flip side is that it encourages organizations to avoid chronically/terminally ill patients.

My main concern here is that there doesn’t seem to be any plan anywhere.  Whether private or public, there has to be a plan in place, and above all in public domain.  I wouldn’t want any step forward untill and unless there is thorough public debate on repercussions of every subtle step.  Lets not forget out current system is far easier to fix than that of US.  So, lets tread carefully as there are no winter tires for healthcare. 


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