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Tiered Health Care

TieredHealthCareHeaderTwo-tier heath care…buzz words for any news story talking about the ever increasing costs of providing health care in Canada.

Whenever I hear the words two-tier health care, it seems like there is always a lot of opposition to the concept, equating two-tier health to the private verses the public system.

Opposition to two-tier health care? Hmmmm, I can’t quite wrap my head around it since in my opinion, we already live in a country where multiple levels of health care already exist and co-exist.

Tier 1:
The base public system, coverage for general practitioner doctor’s visit, emergency and hospital services.

Tier 2:
Worker’s compensation for any employee injured on the job. Direct, fast and full access to treatment immediately to get the employee back into the work force

Tier 3:
Employee Group Benefits, providing coverage (based on company choice) for life insurance, disability, pharmacy, professional health services, vision care and dental care, none of which would be covered in any of the other two tiers mentioned.

Tier 4:
Private professional services purchased directly by an individual

There are likely other ‘tiers’ not mentioned, but the point is, are the majority of Canadians not in opposition to what is already in existence, but yet creating artificial barriers to health success? Or is that people are only opposed to private health clinics when it does not apply to them personally?

Put another way, if an employee injured their back on the job, which fell within the realm of Workers’ Compensation, should that person be expected to stand in the same line waiting for an appointment with the back specialist as those who have injured their back outside of the confines of the job?

Should that person who was injured at work jump the cue and see a specialist, get the MRI and get back to work faster than the person who injured their back on the weekend moving furniture?

By all accounts these two individuals are equal in every way except ‘where’ they incurred their injury. Should that person who injured their back outside of the confines of work be penalized or unable to seek private treatment in order to take control of their own outcomes and ensure that they too get back to work in a timely fashion simply because they were not injured on the job?

When you consider some provinces ban private insurance for publically insured services to inhibit queue jumping and preserve the fairness of the health care system, why then are those under the auspice of Workers’ Compensation allowed to do so?

Food for thought.


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