Feature

Canada’s medical reform

The week's news at a glance.

Ottawa

Canada’s Supreme Court last week struck down a Quebec law banning private insurance for medical treatment. The ruling gives new momentum to a drive to legalize private clinics as an alternative to the government’s universal health-care system, which has been plagued by a shortage of doctors and long waits for surgery. “Patients die as a result of waiting lists,” Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said. Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said allowing some patients to get private care, either through insurance or direct payments, would undermine Canada’s commitment to providing equal treatment for all. “We need to strengthen the public health-care system,” Dosanjh said, “so there is no need for private health care.”

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