The privatization of health and the defense of the public system in Quebec, Canada

Silvana Forti
2010 Social Medicine  
The Canadian health care system – known as "Medicare" or "Assurance-maladie" in Quebec – was created to ensure Canadians free access to health care services and medications. The health system is both publicly funded and administered. It has been built on five principles laid out in the Canada Health Act (1984); these are: Public Administration, Comprehensiveness, Universality, Portability, and Accessibility. In sum, the right to health has been at the organizational core of the Canadian health
more » ... ystem. Provinces and territories administer and deliver most of the health services in Canada. This is done through provincial and territorial health insurance plans which are required to follow the national principles set out in the Canada Health Act. Since its creation, the Canadian health care system has undergone important changes and reforms. However, until a few years ago each major reform of the system retained the principles of justice and equity as core values. Quebec adopted the Health and Social Services Act in December 1971. The Quebec health care system was established with a mandate to maintain, improve, and restore the health and well-being of the entire Quebec population, making health and social services accessible to all. Health and social services in Quebec are administered jointly. This specificity, which has been adopted by other health care systems, has the advantage of allowing a comprehensive response to the health and social needs of the population. Since the 80s there has been a worldwide trend towards the privatization of public services. In order to describe developments in the Quebec health care system, we interviewed Dr Marie-Claude Goulet (M-CG), chair of the organization Médecins québécois pour le régime public (MQRP) [Quebec Physicians for a Public System] , an organization campaigning against the commercialization of health care in Quebec. The MQRP is an umbrella organization made up of various groups from Quebec province; it is part of the larger Canadian Doctors for Medicare (CDM) networ [...]
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