User Fees Could Lead To
Two-tiered Medical System
March 31, 1983
The Medical Reform Group of Ontario, an organization of socially-concerned
physicians and medical students, has expressed its support of the
position taken by the Federal Minister of Health and Welfare, Monique
Begin, regarding user fees and extra billing.
The MRG believes that health care is a right that must be guaranteed
without financial or other deterrents. The MRG opposes any tendency
away from unqualified universality wherein all residents are covered
for insured services. Such restraints on accessibility erode the
foundations of medicare.
In the opinion of the MRG, funding for health care should come from
progressive forms of taxation. Extra billing should be abolished.
Further, the MRG recommends that user fees and other privatization
measures be abandoned.
Extra billing, in the view of the MRG, prohibits those who cannot
pay from access to the services of non-participating physicians.
User fees will result in those who are sick paying more than the
well and utilization being determined by ability to pay rather than
the need for services. This will lead to an unacceptable two-tiered
health care system.
G. Howard Cash
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