Thursday, 23 September 2010

Flash: Quebec Will Not Charge User Fees for Medicare...At Least for Now

Quebec's Finance Minister Raymond Bachand announced Wednesday that his government will not go ahead with a controversial proposal included last spring's provincial budget to charge user fees for medical visits.

Still insisting that the fees are a "good idea," Bachand said the "culture" of Quebec is against the idea. But the government will stick to its guns and charge an annual flat rate fee to everyone that will go up to $200 in two years.

At the same time, the agency which manages Quebec's health care system, the Régie de assurance médicale du Québec RAMQ, announced that it is opening inquiries into membership fees charged by three health care coops and one private clinic. Three other private clinics are already under investigation for possible violations of the Canada Health Act. Under it, the health care system is supposed to be universally accessible and fees are not allowed to limit access.

This seems to be good news, but it may be only the opening salvos in a campaign to change the CHA itself. Stay tuned...

(And for more information and rants about threats to the health care system, check out: Saving Canada's Health Care System.)

1 comment:

Catherine Lee, Dock Systems said...

Americans always make fun of Canada's Health Care System but I think it works.