Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jack made no wrong at "private clinic"

You may have heard the critisizm of Jack Layton that he went to a private clinic for a hernia operation. But according to the article below, he in fact made no wrong (meaning not abandoning the public system) by doing so:

Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton has a legitimate beef with Dr. Brian Day, the new head of the Canadian Medical Association.
Day is calling Layton a hypocrite for having a hernia repaired at a private clinic while denouncing private health care in the political arena.
He is referring to the Shouldice Clinic, a specialty operation north of Toronto where doctors perform nothing but hernia repairs.
Day is right insofar as the clinic is privately owned, but Jack didn't pay much out of his own pocket. The Shouldice has been in operation since 1945 and was grandfathered into the national health plan when medicare was introduced.
Thus, Ontario patients have the procedure paid for by their provincial health-care plans. Other provinces reimburse patients at a level equivalent to their own fee schedules.
Thus, Layton's hernia repair involved no hypocrisy because the public system paid for it. This is the kind of health-care model Day says he supports.
It seems odd that he would attack a politician for using it.

        - Randy Burton, The Saskatoon Star Phoenix, June 19, 2007


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