Health care is Canada’s best-loved social program — and for good reason. For over forty years, Canadians have enjoyed high quality health services based on need rather than on ability to pay. Yet we hear almost daily accounts of problems with the system. We are bombarded with warnings that public health care is unsustainable, especially in light of the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age. Such stories can help undermine our support for public care even though they are often based on poor, partial or even false information. Our best defence of a public system is knowledge about how it works and how it can be improved in order to keep it.
This second edition of About Canada: Health Care is an accessible, up-to-date introduction to how the Canadian health care system works, how it is changing and what can be done to make it better. Pat and Hugh Armstrong explain a range of complicated and important questions: What do “public” and “private” mean as they apply to our current health care system and in proposed reforms? As the boomer generation ages, will the growing number of seniors bankrupt Medicare? What do we mean by wait times and are they increasing? Who pays for drugs and how can we ensure Canadians have equitable access to necessary drugs? Can technologies significantly improve care and reduce costs?