HC spending escalates under Medicare monopoly

August 4, 2015

Kudos to Dr. Shelley Duggan, president of the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association, for urging the Alberta government to move forward in negotiations and transition planning with the company slated to take over lab services for the Edmonton region [“MDs push province on lab services” August 4].

In its predictable, knee-jerk reaction, the so-called Friends of Medicare has again attacked for-profit health care, but is silent on the cost-effectiveness of unionized, non-competitive, public health-care delivery with its higher wage rates and generous benefits in unionized contracts.

Patients should expect the very best quality health care. Taxpayers should expect the very best return on investment [ROI], which is alien to the union-dominated Friends of Medicare. Moreover, private companies pay taxes, which public entities such as Alberta Health Services do not.

In Alberta, the Medicare monopoly has seen health care expenditures escalate from 30% of the provincial budget in the early 1980s to about 50% today. This leaves less money for other determinants of health such as social housing, social assistance, seniors’ programs, etc.

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