Internship: Alternative Approaches to Health Care Financing

Canadian health care could be improved by introducing regulated medical insurance while allowing the privatization of medical care


The purpose of this project was to provide policy makers, academics, researchers and media with a clear analysis of the kinds of health care approaches, outside the current system, that could work in the Canadian context. The research undertaken during this project focused primarily on developing a Medical Savings Account (MSA) system to manage the costs of Canadian health care. It assesses how MSAs work in other countries, how MSAs could be applied in the context of the Canada Health Act, and what the cost to taxpayers would be. The research undertaken in this project provided the basis for a subsequent publication.

Grant Outputs

Improving Canadian Health Care: Better Ways to Finance Medicare –

This report examines two alternate types of medical service provisioning that differ from the existing health care system in Canada. It explains how they would function and outlines the costs and benefits associated with the alternate systems. Both systems examined would introduce a private competitive market and expand consumer choice, improve the working conditions of medical professionals, reduce waiting times and raise the quality of medical services. The first system the report assesses advocates reforming the existing medicare system by introducing consumer co-payments alongside a limited system of Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs). This would involve patients paying out-of-pocket fees for routine medical services, while drawing on the MSA – a savings program similar to the RRSP system – in cases where the cost of services would be too high for an individual to bear. The second system, favoured in this report, would allow a regulated market system of health insurance and service delivery to compete with the existing public system. The report favours this second model because it would allow patients greater choice of medical services, decrease waiting times, and increase competition for quality. In both cases, the report suggested that provisions would be made to ensure access to medical services for the very poor and chronically ill.

Grant Details

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