Privatizing health care isn’t the taboo it once was. But would it help Quebec’s ailing system? – CBC

Political parties float idea of bolstering system with more private options. Experts question the logic

Sep 21, 2022

It’s nearly noon at the Tiny Tots pediatric clinic in Decarie Square in the Montreal suburb of Côte Saint-Luc, and there’s a steady line of parents clutching little hands or pushing strollers as they check in for their child’s appointment.

Tiny Tots is part of ELNA Medical’s growing network of family medicine and specialty clinics, with some 96 clinics in Canada, including about 25 in Quebec alone.

Although many of the services are covered by public health insurance — in Quebec, through the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) — the clinics are privately owned and run.

If patients need to see a specialist, they can be referred internally to someone working at one of ELNA’s clinics. A patient can have tests or procedures done at a public clinic or at ELNA. Some specialty procedures at ELNA are covered by RAMQ, while others are mostly covered by private insurance plans

“It’s the same care, except in, shall we say, a better wrapper,” said Dr. Benjamin Burko, a pediatrician and the Montreal-based company’s chief innovation officer.

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