Beware 'siren song' of privatizers, U.S. doctor tells Canadians

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Canada's publicly funded health insurance program known as Medicare "is one of the best health care systems in the world," a leading U.S. health policy expert says, but is being threatened by government underfunding and by those who would partially privatize it under the guise of reducing wait times for elective medical procedures.

Dr. Marcia Angell, a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School, writes in the Oct. 21 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) that Canada's health expenditures are half those in the United States - US$3,326 per person versus US$6,697. Yet, in sharp contrast to the U.S., Canada's health system guarantees essential medical care to all of the country's residents. Read Privatizing health care is not the answer: lessons from the United States.