Private clinics don’t ease wait

Editor:

The Americans are our biggest market for our goods and services.

Editor:

The Americans are our biggest market for our goods and services.

They pay 50 per cent more for their private health care than we do for our public health care.

Canadian public health care makes our products significantly cheaper to market. This competitive advantage that we enjoy is being lost as more of our health care is privatized. Canada now has the longest hospital waiting lists of all the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.

Long public waiting lists for medical tests and diagnostics are forcing people into private clinics for timely care. The increasing number of private for-profit clinics is not easing pressure on the public system, but instead they are increasing the wait times for public hospitals as they bleed necessary resources away.

Surrey Memorial Hospital emergency department currently has 90,000 visits per year, with 100,000 visits projected by 2020. We are not building nearly enough to meet even short-term capacity. Surrey has one-fifth of the provincial average of acute-care beds. We are grossly under-served. We pray for Tim Hortons care in Surrey.

We are on the U.S. border but we are not yet absorbed. We are in a no-man’s land. Let’s renew our fight for Canadian public health care before it’s just a memory.

Patrick O’Connor, Surrey