Orthopedic surgeon; Vancouver, BC
The statement in your editorial in the Feb. 8, 2000, issue that "private health care is always more expensive"1 mixes opinion with fact. The reference you gave2 provides no statistically valid data to support such a statement. In British Columbia, private surgical clinics offered to provide contract surgical services for medicare patients at 60% of the government-calculated cost in public hospitals. We did not need a study, or a health policy analyst, or a health economist or any other redundant bureaucrat to back up our calculation that we could achieve this and still make a (nasty word) profit. Why CMAJ's editors continue to blindly trust the ability of a state-controlled monopoly to deliver efficient, effective and excellent health care services is mind-boggling to many of us.
The bottom line is very simple. There is nothing morally wrong with spending one's own money on the health of oneself or a loved one. The hogwash being spouted by self-serving lobbyists and unions is being matched by the editors of CMAJ.