Canada's healthcare wait times are still too long
If politicians won't fix the problem, the country's courts will have to
By Andrew Coyne, Postmedia News
When the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its decision in the case of Chaoulli v. Quebec (Attorney General) in 2005, everyone agreed this changed everything. The court's ruling - that Quebec's ban on private health insurance, so far as it condemned patients to wait for medically unsafe periods of time to be treated in the public system, was in violation of their rights - was cheered by the right and denounced by the left, each in the expectation that it meant profound changes to how health care was funded and delivered.
Seven years later, it's not evident how much impact the ruling has really had. Of course, to some ex-tent its implications were al-ways overblown. The court did not strike down the public health monopoly altogether, or suggest that it was un-constitutional in principle. It was only to the extent that it threatened patients' life and health that it could not be justified. The government was free to run health care as a public monopoly, if it chose. It just couldn't kill people with it.
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