Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Health Monopoly Challenged

Lots of people complain about our faltering government-monopoly health care system, but few are doing anything about it.

But that's about to change.

The Canadian Constitution Foundation is helping retired auto worker Lindsay McCreith launch a legal challenge to Ontario's health care system.

McCreith says, in fact, the health care system almost killed him.

As CCF executive director John Carpay noted in a recent National Post column:

After suffering a seizure in January of 2006, the 66-year-old Newmarket resident was told he had a brain tumour. But he would have to wait four-and-one-half months to obtain an MRI to rule out the possibility that it was cancerous. Unwilling to risk the progression of what might be cancer, Mr. McCreith obtained an MRI in Buffalo, which revealed the brain tumour was malignant. Even with this diagnosis in hand, the Ontario system still refused to provide timely treatment, so Mr. McCreith had surgery in Buffalo to remove the cancerous brain tumour in March of 2006.

In Ontario, Mr. McCreith would have waited eight months for surgery, according to his family doctor. Eight months is quite enough time for a cancer to worsen, spread and progress to an irreversible stage. Had Mr. McCreith not paid $27,600 ($U.S.) for immediate medical care, he might be dead today.

It seems Mr. McCreith has a good case. And if the 2005 Supreme Court of Canada Chaoulli decision is anything to go by he will win.

The court in that case ruled access to a waiting list is not the same as access to health care and that a total ban on private health insurance is not necessary in order to maintain a sound public health system.

This case should build on that precedent.

Anyone wishing to help fund this important and worthy cause can do so here.


NB taxpayer said...

More and more Canadians want competition within medicare to ensure their tax dollars deliver the proper treatment and care. This case should go a long way in adding to that argument.

Ace said...

Cdn. healthcare is KILLING people.
And we think our values are better?