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Privatization of hospital surgeries through price based funding and wait times

The Regina Health Region has started to privatize dental and knee arthroscopy surgeries, turning procedures over to a private clinic.  The rationale?  To reduce surgical wait times.  Oh, and the government claims the knee surgeries will cost $1,500 apiece, $179 cheaper than in the public sector. The Saskatoon Health Region is also exploring providing surgeries in a private facility.

This from a province that until recently was a model of public health care delivery.

The Ontario Conservatives raised the same idea in the last election, with a similar rationale.  But the claims were shot down (as were the Conservatives). 

But the Ontario Liberal government had opened the door to this by introducing "patient based funding"  -- something that could be better described as "price based funding" or "fee for service".   Again, part of the rationale was specialized funding to reduce wait times for surgeries and diagnostic tests. 

Look for more attempts to introduce for-profit delivery through price based funding (under whatever name) and the rationale that it will reduce wait times.  There is plenty of profit to be made.


dallan@cupe.ca

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