Canada needs to carefully balance public and private healthcare

The country could benefit from a hybrid system as companies provide health services

(Mockup, Unblast. Doctor, Unsplash/ Ashkan Forozani)

(Mockup, Unblast. Doctor, Unsplash/ Ashkan Forozani)

As we all know, many important procedures like banking and education can be completed remotely, without the need to ever leave your home. Now general healthcare is ready to hop on this bandwagon, as Telus decided to differentiate itself from its rivals by expanding into the general healthcare sector. 

The demand for virtual alternatives to replace traditionally physical activities has skyrocketed over the past several years, mainly due to safety concerns. During this time, Telus has begun offering online health services through things like the Babylon app. The company was in the right place at the right time because the climate they were in allowed virtual services such as Zoom to flourish and grow.

Critics worry that increasingly allowing private businesses to run health care services will divide it into two tiers, one that prioritizes those who pay premiums for access to extended healthcare programs, and increasingly neglects to serve those who cannot afford to pay any premiums at all. 

This kind of system is currently being used in the United States, and the repercussions are fierce. There are countless tragic stories out there depicting how a person in need was denied coverage because they could not afford to pay for their healthcare. However, privatization of healthcare services is not always a bad thing. 

For example, a corporate-friendly healthcare system promises better service quality since competing businesses are always trying to outperform each other to attract more customers. Also, increased privatization of our healthcare system could significantly reduce operating costs for the Canadian government, with savings passed onto the citizens in the form of reduced tax rates. 

Since both privatized and nationalized healthcare systems have their own pros and cons, the best kind of healthcare system should combine both types to maximize their effectiveness. This is mostly what France has been doing, and the results are phenomenal. 

Their dual healthcare system has high quality of care, increased public and social security, and demands fewer out-of-pocket payments. 

As a result, the World Health Organization declared that France has the best overall healthcare system worldwide. Although this system is more costly, the excellent results should justify increased healthcare spending. Compared with their rivals, France’s healthcare system is superior in many ways. 

For example, in the UK, their National Health Service provides completely nationalized healthcare coverage. While this may seem great, critics point out its high cost, and average service quality.

This suggests that neither a fully nationalized nor fully privatized healthcare system is the answer, but a hybrid combination would work best. Currently, Canada is leaning towards a nationalized healthcare model. 

Companies like Telus promise to change that, adding privatized support to healthcare where it’s needed. This may result in tremendous benefits for Canada, as it moves closer towards France’s successful dual healthcare system. The key is to keep the growth of privatization in check to ensure an optimal balance between a privatized and nationalized healthcare system.