Polish clinics: Another kind of health tourism

The Economist has an excellent story in this week’s magazine about the rise of Polish health clinics in Britain.    Polish doctors are setting up private clinics dentists, general practitioners (GPs), paediatricians and gynaecologists that have “pulled off the remarkable feat of selling medical care to working- and middle-class people who could get it for nothing”.

I know this is red meat to the defenders of Canadian health care but I find it a very interesting trend.   The public policy objective should be to provide high quality health care to all New Brunswickers.  That is what we should be fighting to defend.  The mechanisms of how we do that should be up for vigorous debate.

 

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2 Responses to Polish clinics: Another kind of health tourism

  1. mikel says:

    I’d be more likely to trust ‘private’ medicine if the province hadn’t been rejecting services for public medicine. There’s certainly something to be said for accountability and competition, but ‘this isn’t that’. Charging $100 to see a GP was part of the problem that medicare was designed to resolve.
    And I really don’t think that this can be filed under ‘medical tourism’. NOBODY comes to Canada, let alone New Brunswick, for medical care. We’re doing a sub par job providing it for canadians let alone offering it to tourists. I seriously doubt anybody in europe is going to Great Britain to get it either. Heck, I’m thinking seriously of going to Mexico for dental care since insurance programs don’t cover anything cosmetic and costs are about a quarter. And dentistry is pretty much private, so its not like making more medical services private is going to solve any problems.

    There is NO reason why competition and service can’t be introduced into the public system. I know unions and organizations would fight it, but so much of the public would be on board that its one of the few cases where governments COULD intervene-maybe not this one because they’ve blown it so badly I don’t think anybody trusts them on ANYTHING.

    And I don’t know how you do it but you always manage to have a blog related to something that caught my eye that week. In this case was the cover of ‘The Economist’ which goes on to brag about ‘the end of poverty’ because the number of people who earn less than a dollar a day has plummeted. I’ve been to several under developed countries, and if they think that earning $2 a day ISN”T poverty, then they really are living in a fantasy land. Ok, I’ll leave your blog alone for the weekend now!:)

  2. I wonder what health care the people of Poland are getting out of this. Oh, right. None.

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