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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
Short White Coat blogger Jennifer Srygley
Thursday, August 16, 2007
What Canada can learn from US about health care
Discussions about healthcare often look north to the single-payer model in Canada. But the tables are turned, now that the Canadian Medical Association has recommended allowing private competition to enter its national healthcare system.
That way lies disaster, Dr. Arnold S. Relman contends. The Harvard emeritus professor and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine warns of a US-style system failure in a commentary that appears on globeandmail.com, the online partner of The Globe and Mail in Toronto.
"If Canada were so unwise as to allow privatization to grow in its health-care system, it would sooner or later experience all of the problems driving the U.S. system toward collapse," he writes. "One thing is certain: When medical care and health insurance are allowed to become private businesses, costs go up and patients with little or no resources do not get the care they need. That is the lesson Canadians should learn from the United States."