Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ont. cancer patients say having to pay for drugs violates Canada Health Act

There are a couple of comments at the end of this article that intrigue me.

"(Patients) are paying a hospital for injections of a medically necessary drug, and from their perspective that's a violation of the Canada Health Act."
Perhaps there will be a day in the not-too-distant future where someone will take a hospital and their provincial government to court over this issue. The impact of such a ruling could be huge. Agreement by the court could essentially bankrupt the health care system. I think eventually we are going to hit a point where people will want their government to do more for them than put virtually every tax dollar accumulated into health care and it still isn't enough. Denial by the court could open the door for more private plan involvement in the system.

From the Canadian Press:
There's no public or private health insurance plan in the country that could afford to pay for all of the latest cancer drugs, Ontario's health minister said Wednesday amid criticism from patients paying for expensive drugs not covered by the province.

Ontario has more than doubled spending on new cancer drugs, but it would be impossible to cover every new medication that's developed, Health Minister George Smitherman said, describing the province's medication approval system as the best in the country.

"In a world where there will be a new product available every day - which sometimes is offering very, very modest enhancements to life, measured sometimes in days - it's going to be very, very challenging for any insurance system, public or otherwise, to be in a position to buy every product that is out there," he said. ...more

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