Letter to the Editor

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Dear Editor,

Congratulations and thank you for your article “What is it saying?” in the May 18, 2023 issue of the North Dundas Times. You have clearly presented the case against the creation of private hospitals and have, hopefully, given your readers food for thought. In my opinion, and you seem to agree, the core of the problem with our current healthcare system is underfunding by the provincial government and an inadequate payment formula for family doctors – also created by the provincial government.

In the proposal for private hospitals, I see a chilling similarity to our provincial government’s reaction to the disproportionately high number of COVID deaths in for-profit nursing homes as compared to government and non-profit homes – that is a massive investment of public money in these same for-profit nursing homes. Private hospitall, like private nursing homes, would be simply another way for money to talk on behalf of those who have it. There would be no pretense of equity; the richer would get more and the poorer would get what the government is willing to invest in their care – which, as we are seeing presently, isn’t adequate.

While I generally agree with what you say, I have a bit of a problem with your comparison of the Canadian and American healthcare systems in which you suggest that they are similar except for the sources of funding; ie. taxes in Ontario and insurance premiums in the U.S.. In Ontario, the ‘Ontario Health Premium’ decreases with income (so the poorer pay less) while in the U.S., the insurance premiums for a given level of care would be the same regardless of income. Thus your statement; “in both jurisdictions everyone has access to the same healthcare system” would not be true since the wealthy American can ‘buy’ more health care than his poorer neighbour.

Keep up the good work.

Best regards Doug Long

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