Canada inches away from socialism

Or should that be “millimeters away”?  It’s not a lot of progress but it’s encouraging:

EDMONTON — All Canadians should have the right to buy private health insurance to complement their care in the medicare system, the country’s leading doctors’ group says.

The Canadian Medical Association said, in essence, that a recent Supreme Court of Canada judgment, which struck down a ban on private health insurance in Quebec because patients were not ensured timely access to care, should apply to all Canadians.

In doing so, the CMA, which represents the country’s 62,000 doctors, also clearly rejected the notion yesterday that there should be a medicare monopoly. It did so just one day after doctors gave their backing to the existence of a parallel, private for-profit health system.

Barry Erlick, a physician from Toronto, told his colleagues that buying private insurance would be a wise investment because the medicare system cannot keep pace with demand for services.

“Governments are failing my patients today,” he said during the debate. “We are saying, ‘Give our patients options to alleviate their suffering.’ “