Soaring costs forcing Canada to re-examine healthcare system

This story (from Reuters) details how the Canadian government is struggling to cope with increasing costs and an aging population that is threatening its once-vaunted government health care system. As the US lurches forward with government health care, Canada and other countries with socialized medicine are discovering that government cannot provide free, high quality, readily accessible health care without limits.

Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada’s provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, kicked off a fierce battle with drug companies and pharmacies when it said earlier this year it would halve generic drug prices and eliminate “incentive fees” to generic drug manufacturers.

British Columbia is replacing block grants to hospitals with fee-for-procedure payments and Quebec has a new flat health tax and a proposal for payments on each medical visit — an idea that critics say is an illegal user fee.

And a few provinces are also experimenting with private funding for procedures such as hip, knee and cataract surgery.

Read the whole thing…

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