September 12th, 2016
I suffered debilitating pain for several YEARS in the public system. I finally had surgery in January of 2016. It went sideways. Worse, the surgeon insisted everything was OK, despite my being barely able to walk due to the pain. Getting an MRI to prove one way or another was going to take months. Worse, since I no longer trusted the surgeon, I needed a second opinion. A referral to a second surgeon plus waiting time for surgery would have cost me another year of my life, if not more. So I opened my wallet and went private. In less than three weeks I had both an MRI that proved the original surgery had gone sideways, and surgery to fix it.
So allow me to be blunt with any politicians that are reading this. If I lose access to private healthcare, two things are going to happen:
1. I will take my wallet and drive to Seattle. Not only will I still be accessing private healthcare, I will be spending large sums of money in the US instead of Canada.
2. I will sue the public health system for the pain and suffering of the surgery that went sideways, for the years of debilitating pain it put me through, and for the costs I have incurred to fix what the public system screwed up.
The very notion that people with financial means to purchase healthcare services should be forced to be ill instead in the name of "equal access" is as abhorrent as it is naive. Nothing can stop me from going to Seattle, and I would rather be broke and healthy than suffer debilitating pain for the rest of my life while my money sits in the bank.
Every service I buy in the private system is one that the public system doesn't have to, freeing up their limited resources for the people who don't have money and improving their healthcare as well. Making private healthcare illegal is just a lose, lose lose proposition. The poor lose, the rich lose, the economy loses. The only beneficiary is the medical services community in Seattle.