Commentaries, Patient Financing of Healthcare (The Patient Pays)

Our expert advisors have written opinion pieces on important health policy topics, published in leading media outlets across the country. We are making these articles available to everyone, free of charge, with a Creative Commons license, so that you may use them in your publication or on your website. See also our Commentaries in French.

Evidence is important to us, and we are committed to getting the evidence right — even when it can be interpreted in a number of ways. If you feel we have not represented the evidence accurately or fairly in these opinion pieces, please let us know. Browse our Commentaries by category, below, or view them all here.

Private dental care fails millions in Ontario Private dental care fails millions in Ontario
By Jacquie Maund and Hazel Stewart
Our health system neglects the oral health of dependent seniors with tragic consequences Our health system neglects the oral health of dependent seniors with tragic consequences
By Mary McNally
The-never-ending-saga-of-medical-user-fees-in-Quebec The never-ending saga of medical user fees in Quebec
By Amélie Quesnel-Vallée
Why workers over 65 years of age should be entitled to employer health plans too Why workers over 65 years of age should be entitled to employer health plans too
By John Have and Robert L. Brown

Imagine having your private health insurance — dental, vision, prescription drug, life, travel and disability coverage — suddenly terminated by your employer at age 65 while you’re still working for them, and just when you may really need it.

Why private health insurance coverage in Canada needs a review Why private health insurance coverage in Canada needs a review
By John Have and Robert L. Brown

Last week, the media carried a story about a nine-year-old boy in New Brunswick who was denied private health coverage because of his weight (at 5 foot 2 inches and 135 pounds). His family were shocked – as were many reading the story – that a child could be denied private health coverage in Canada.

Health-reform-in-Ontario-must-include-oral-health Health reform in Ontario must include oral health
By Jacquie Maund and Hazel Stewart

The Ontario government’s proposed reform of the provincial health care system is going forward with a glaring omission: primary mouth care.

Ten medical expenses you didn’t know were tax deductible These ten medical expenses could give you a tax break
By Kathleen O'Grady

As Canadians we like to take pride in our publicly funded healthcare system, but the truth is many of us — especially those with or caring for someone with disabilities or chronic conditions — pay out of pocket for a wide range of essential health services.

BC election represents crossroads for the future of medicine in Canada BC doctors’ election represents crossroads for the future of medicine in Canada
By Vanessa Brcic and Ryan Meili

Normally provincial medical association elections are not national news. The one vote difference between first and second place in the race for president of the Doctors of BC ­– later declared a tie after a recount – might be enough to grab people’s attention.

It’s time to include dental health in the healthcare system It’s time to include dental health in the healthcare system
By Paul Allison

There are many reasons why some Canadians choose not to go to the dentist, but a new report released this week from the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) found that cost is a major factor — and that Canada’s most vulnerable populations have the highest rates of dental decay, pain and disease, but the worst access to this much needed healthcare service.

Look to Alberta today, not twenty years ago, for guidance on private MRIs Look to Alberta today, not twenty years ago, for guidance on private MRIs
By Ryan Meili

This past week, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall took to twitter to ask the question “Is it time to allow people to pay for their own private MRIs in Saskatchewan like they can do in Alberta?


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