Primary Health Care At The Crossroads


Given the way private, for-profit business - in the guise of clinic chains, for example - is encroaching on the health care system, you might think there's only one way to fix it. In health care co-ops, as Québec demonstrates, we have an option that can serve people better as well as build local initiative, competence, democracy, and mutuality. When it comes to health care, we have to manufacture some dissent, pronto.

"Politicians and commentators debate the risks of a two-tier health system and continue to establish commissions and study groups; meanwhile, a business model that has the backing of powerful interests is permitted to introduce a mercantile logic into primary health services with complete impunity. What will happen when more formidable players such as Wal-Mart and Costco decide that they want to own and manage clinics? While we are at it, perhaps we should simply invite these large chains to administer our hospitals as well!

"Clearly, this makes no sense! In a society that promotes freedom of association and commerce, innovation in the health care system clearly needs to be encouraged, but surely the business model need not be the exclusive or dominant model."

The community alternative vs. market forces
Girard, Jean-Pierre
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