Policy Issues And Privatization Of Healthcare In Canada

Background on Healthcare Privatization

Many countries around the world with the system of universal health care have primarily relied on public-owned hospitals when it comes to the offering of essential care services to the general population. Nevertheless, public-owned hospitals have been facing a lot of challenges ranging from overcrowding, shortage of healthcare providers, and lack of medicine as well as medication errors. Health experts around the world have been championing for establishments of policies towards privatization of healthcare (Whiteside, 2013. According to studies carried out on countries such as California, Massachusetts as well as Florida where privatization of health care has taken place, there has been a realization of improved operating margins, high occupancy and reduced waiting time before being attended to be medics (Chapman, 2014). Therefore, many countries have developed interests in privatizing health care to ensure efficiency. However, many policy issues hinder privatization within the health sector (Toebes, Ferguson, Markovic, & Nnamuchi, 2014). Thus, this paper will examine policy issues, its position on the agenda of Canada government, the role of various stakeholders and factors which made the government response concerning this issue

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Policy on healthcare privatization is mainly concerning with ensuring that is universal, comprehensive, equal and fair access as wells as portable healthcare system to all Canadian citizens (Bambra, Garthwaite, & Hunter, 2014). The policy aims at restoring rejuvenated research related to healthcare thereby ensuring that there are high levels of health services to the patients. According to the policy, the Canadian Healthcare act has failed to secure comprehensive and affordable health care services to all Canadian citizens. Individual coming from poor background have found it difficult to get better health services whenever they are sick. Additionally, the policy aims at reducing the exodus movement of medics abroad due to poor payment. The policy looks at ways in which welfare of physicians can be improved and ensure that there are better payments to the healthcare providers. Thus, this will ensure that the medics stay in the country and ensure that the medic-patient ratio is appropriate as required by the World Health Organization W.H.O. additionally, the policy champion for enhancement in the use technology within the healthcare facilities. Use of technology will help in the reduction of the medical errors that have caused lives of so many people in the country. According to the policy, privatization of health care will ensure that there is sustainable and maintenance of equitable health care services (Whiteside, 2013). Hence, every Canadian citizen irrespective of their ability to pay services will have an opportunity to access healthcare services.

Policy Objectives on Healthcare Privatization

The policy also champion for competent as well as compassionate healthcare services that address all types of health needs reported by patients. According to recent research by WHO, most of the healthcare providers in the public-owned hospital often fail to comprehensively address problems that the patients report to them hence breaching the code of conduct that they are supposed to observe. Therefore, through privatization of health care services, issues such as absenteeism, patient-physician relationship as well as diminishing funding will be dealt with comprehensively. Finally, the policy on the privatization of health care in Canada will also help in dealing with the challenges that rural and remote communities face when it comes to health care access. Privatization will ensure that there is an effective linkage of people living in the rural and remote to have access to primary health care.

Currently, the Canadian government is struggling with many issues that are affecting the well-being of the citizens. Some of the top issues that the country is working on include; security of the state, high rates of unemployment, economic growth, proper housing as well as quality education (Zhu, & Lipsmeyer, 2015). Due to the rapid increase in the population and great desire by the citizen for quality health care services, policy on the privatization is one of the top issues that the government is considering to act on effectively. Through privatization of health services, it is assumed that there will be a reduction in responsibilities on the side of the government in what is known as Neoliberal or market fundamentalism. Privatization refers to the policies that aim at reducing the role of the state in offering of social services, a decline in the state budgets and decrease in the expenditure in the public healthcare. Health being one of the major contributors to the economy of every country, Canadian authorities believed that offering quality health services plays a vital in ensuring that there is the rapid growth of the country economy (Howse, Jeebhay,  & Neis, 2012).

 Consequently, due to the high death rates associated with poor healthcare services offered in the public-owned hospital, policy on the privatization of health care survives is one of the top issues that is being evaluated by the Canadian government. Due to continuous health care that comes with the privatization of health services, Canadian government has put the policy on privatization as one of the top issues among the challenges that need to be handled. According to the policy, private health insurance will enable the Canadian citizens to decide on a medic who will examine and treat them continuously. Therefore, this can helps to reduce the numbers of wrong diagnosis witnessed yearly within the country. Additionally, the Canadian government has put the policy on the privatization on top of their list due to its portability (Raphael, 2014). Private health insurance that comes with the privatization of healthcare that is different from another type of healthcare services that entirely depends on the kind of job that the patients do.  In privatized health, the patients do not need to use the money from the pocket to pay for the services as compared to the public-owned hospitals. Therefore, this means that it’s more flexible and portable as well as freeing the government from the burden of healthcare services.

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Challenges to Privatization within the Health Sector

Stakeholders are entities who are fundamentally involved in all aspect of healthcare systems and are significantly affected by various reforms that are being enforced on the network. The primary stakeholders in regards to the policy on privatization of health care services in Canada include insurance companies, pharmaceutical, Canadian government, physician as well as patients (Burns, Bellows, Eigenseher, & Gallivan, 2014). Physicians play a vital role in ensuring that there are adequate health services provided to the patients. According to the Committee of the Canadian Urological Association (CUA), physicians have a vital role in ensuring that there are reforms in the healthcare such educating both policymakers and public about the proper levels of care. Additionally, they are also involved in defining the link that exists between funding as well as attention provided. Patients play a role in promoting the privatization of the health care services by choosing to embrace the policies that are affordable and easily affordable to them. Canadian government has got a central role in ensuring that the policy on the privatization of healthcare. First, they enact laws that ensure a smooth transition of public-owned hospitals to private healthcare facilities (Kahane, Loptson, Herriman, & Hardy, 2013). Additionally, government provides necessary funds by determining the cost of healthcare during the country annual budget hence facilities the entire process. Moreover, Canadian government also mobilizes for various donors who help with the provision of funds as well as ideas on how to initiate the whole programme.

 Pharmaceutical companies also have a vital role concerning the health care privatization policy. The companies determine the prices of drugs hence the cost of healthcare. Therefore, they can decide whether the policy on health care privatization is implemented or fails. Raising the cost of medications to extravagant prices can make it difficult to achieve the policy on privatization of healthcare leading to it fails. Additionally, Pharmaceutical companies play a vital role in ensuring that Canadian citizens can afford their products hence good marketing and honesty is critical during the implementation of the policy. During discussion of the implementation of the policy, the pharmaceutical companies send their representatives who have depth idea and knowledge to educate physician and government concerning the risks and benefits associated with brands of medication to ensure that appropriate measures are taken during policy implementation. Finally, insurance companies advise the government on regulation that must be taken into consideration when ensuring citizens before implementing the policy. The companies play a critical role in ensuring that the insurance services offered through private hospital is cost effective and can be affordable for all citizens.

Position on the Agenda of Canada Government

Situational Factors

Due to high levels of mass migration of skilled physician to other countries due to inadequate healthcare system leading to the shortage of healthcare providers made the Canadian government was forced to respond to the healthcare privatization policy (Bhuyan, 2012). Public outcry on concerning lack as a result of unaffordable healthcare services also made the governments respond to the policy. Consequently, increases in the speeding on healthcare after every year which had greats impact on the economy also forced the Canadian authorities to re-evaluate the strategy on the privatization of healthcare (Barer, & Bryan, 2018). According to the statistics, the speeding on health from the year 200 to 2008 increased from 8.8% to 10.4%. Situations such as an increase in the ageing population, inflation as well as enrichment of the cares services also forced the government to consider the policy.

Economic climate like relaying on private, federal and state funding on various healthcare projects made the government examine the policy championing for the privatization issue. Therefore, this resulted in poor health services leading to the spread of diseases and increases in the number of medication errors. Additionally, the need to enhance infrastructures such as local workforce, effective transportation system and healthcare equipment like operation rooms, hospital beds among others also had a significant influence making the Canadian government think about the privatization issue (Piat, et al., 2015).

Since Canada is a profoundly cross-cultural nation, health services provided by the public-owned hospital were not practical due to the violation of cultural safety and communication barriers (Andermann, Pang, Newton, Davis, & Panisset, 2016). Studies reveal that dominant historical beliefs and culture have influenced the health care system in Canada. Hence, in cultural bias experienced in the public-owned hospital resulted in various health-related perception and preference. Therefore, government desire to increases cultural competency in different hospitals made them examine the privatization policy issue. Through privatization of health care, patients will be able to choose a particular medics who will be responsible for their health. Therefore this will help to incorporate patient beliefs and culture into treatment and diagnosis of illness (Dufresne, Jeram, & Pelletier, 2014).

The vast Canadian landscape makes it challenging to ensure that every person has access to quality healthcare services through public-owned hospitals (Martin-Matthews, Sims-Gould, & Tong, 2012). With the increase in the ageing population, Canadian living in rural, as well as remote areas, finds it difficult to access public hospital for healthcare services. Therefore, this has led to an increase in health vulnerabilities in most of the rural regions resulting in rising mortality rate. However, through privatization of policy issue citizen will be able to choose on the medics that they want to treat them when they are sick. Therefore, through privatization the physicians will be able to attend to the patients even in their homes regardless of the places where they live. Consequently, this made the government examine the issue on privatization policy.

Role of Stakeholders


Healthcare system experienced in Canada requires serious attention from the government, various stakeholders as well as its citizens. The problems facing Canadian health care needs an alternative solution to ensure that they are addressed adequately. The debate concerning policy on privatization of health care is an indication that there is a problem with their healthcare system. Therefore, Canadian government must ensure that all citizens stay in a healthy environment free from diseases and that which encourages innovation as well as investments.


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