Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Time for the Scales to Fall from Our Eyes: Private Cataract Surgery is Much More Expensive Than Public

Perhaps the message is finally getting out: the public sector has a lot going for it. Last week Le Devoir had a fascinating story about how cataract operations cost far more when done in private clinics than they do in publicly owned settings like hospitals. The difference is substantial: in some cases the clinics charge twice as much.

The reason is basically that private clinics have to turn a profit, whereas public ones don’t. Seems a no-brainer, but for far too long the ideologues argued that the private sector provided competition that cut fat from budgets.

That same kind of thinking lay behind the deregulation of banks and financial institutions, too, and we’re all getting hurt because of it.

As Barack Obama said in his inaugural address, The question ..."is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.” The answer is that it works a whole lot better than the private sector does when it comes to providing health services--or regulating financial institutions.

1 comment:

lagatta said...

A pity, as cataract surgery nowadays is usually day surgery, and doesn't require all the expensive infrastructure of a hospital. The obvious alternative would be to expand the mandate of the public CLSCs to provide this and other outpatient surgery procedures (provided provisions are made for eventual complications that can occur in the most minor of surgeries).

But that would require a commitment to public healthcare, eh? At least Dr Khadir will keep raising the issue now.

A friend has recently had both eyes done, one at a time, at Montreal General. They were most efficient.