Those who promote private health care would have you believe that the only way to improve Canada’s health care system is to open it up to for-profit interests. Private clinics are operating across the country offering health care services for a price, and the federal government is doing nothing to stop it.

British Columbia and Quebec are already hotbeds for these clinics, while other provinces – such as Alberta and Nova Scotia – allow them to a lesser extent. A report by the Ontario Health Coalition found that there are 130 private clinics open in five Canadian provinces, and provided evidence that 89 of these clinics may be selling services in violation of the Canada Health Act.

The federal government must enforce the letter and the spirit of the Canada Health Act and enact strong penalties on provinces that allow private clinics. Federal and provincial governments need to work together to ensure a strengthened public health care system that provides timely, quality health care services to all Canadians, not just for those who can afford to pay.