Wealth, and the health of nations

When will Canadians (and Americans) open their shuttered eyes ? Amartya Sen puts things very simply and clearly in the NY Review of Books (in part 6.):

… Hugely distorted perceptions of how a national health service works need to be corrected through public discussion [in the US – MC]. For example, it is common to assume that no one has a choice of doctors in a European national health service, which is not at all the case.
There is, however, also a need for better understanding of the options that exist. In US discussions of health reform, there has been an overconcentration on the Canadian system—a system of public health care that makes it very hard to have private medical care—whereas in Western Europe the national health services provide care for all but also allow, in addition to state coverage, private practice and private health insurance, for those who have the money and want to spend it this way. It is not clear just why the rich who can freely spend money on yachts and other luxury goods should not be allowed to spend it on MRIs or CT scans instead. If we take our cue from Adam Smith’s arguments for a diversity of institutions, and for accommodating a variety of motivations, there are practical measures we can take that would make a huge difference to the world in which we live…

Mark C.

One thought on “Wealth, and the health of nations

  1. Andre says:

    Yet again…rational thinking trying to argue against irrational reflexes.
    It is a lost cause. We are stuck with 12 hours+ wait times in emergency rooms and 6 months delays for MRIs.

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