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Is privatization making you 'hysterical'? Us too!

Why we’ve been “hysterical” about healthcare privatization before it was cool.

Our response to Terrance Corcoran’s recent comment in the Financial Post. 

On August 12, Financial Post columnist Terence Corcoran pulled out his soap box to accuse the Council of Canadians – among other “fluttering medical pigeons” – of engaging in a “typical bit of hysteria” when we warned that Ontario Premier Doug Ford “has used the pandemic as an opportunity to cut and privatize health care, to line the pockets of his corporate friends.”  

“If only that were true,” Corcoran lamented. Tragically, in his opinion, it seems that the people are pressuring the government to spend more on healthcare, rather than turning the reins over to “the price system,” which will, in Corcoran’s humble opinion, bring in the necessary workers who are so lacking (he fails to mention that the US, with an infamously privatized healthcare system, is also facing shortages of doctors, nurses, and EMTs). 

He also points to dubious claims of the unsustainability of health spending across Canada. Omitting that the private, for-profit pharmaceutical industry is the single biggest driver of rising costs on Canada’s health system. Only a truly public alternative would bring costs down and pay for itself in the long run. 

Private health care for profit

But it seems no one has told August 17 Terence Corcoran, what August 12 Terence Corcoran was thinking. Only five days after his op-ed arguing that privatized healthcare isn’t looming and the Council of Canadians is hysterical for warning that it is, he wrote “Canadians are ready to look at private alternatives to public care,” and that, in fact, “the change is coming.”

The Council of Canadians has been fighting for a just and equitable healthcare system for decades (although not for quite as long as it’s been since the highly gendered and stigmatizing term “hysteria” was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). If you want to join us in our fight for pharmacare, click here or donate to our campaigns here

Alex Birrell

Alex Birrell is one of the Council of Canadians Communications Officers, specializing in Research and Analysis.