Re: Health care: Stop fearing private sector (July 30)
Toronto. In a bid to convince us of the advantages of the private sector in health care, David Descôteaux wrote that we should embrace a model where universal coverage is ensured by the state, but where the supply of service, like operating a hospital, is open to the private sector.
He made the point that in Denmark you will be sent, fully covered, to a private hospital if waiting time for an operation is longer than one month. But he didn’t mention that in Denmark, 44 per cent of the work force pays 70 per cent of its income in taxes.
He also made the point that in France 40 per cent of hospitals are privately owned and for profit, but it’s fair to say that even though per capita spending on health care was very similar between France and Canada in the past, the last decade has seen a greater growth in health-care spending in France than in Canada.
Since the column was inspired by a 15-hour wait in the ER, I assume the real subject was the standard of living. I just wonder, was that column an attempt by a pro free-market fiscal conservative to tell me that a higher standard of living requires higher taxes? Or did I miss the point?
Johnny Dib, Toronto