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Clear Answers

The Economics and Politics of For-Profit Medicine

book-inline-clear-answers.jpgThe Government of Alberta under Ralph Klein has asked a reasonable question: can health care be better provided partly as a private, for-profit product rather than as a not-for-profit public service? But – despite the claims of advocates for market-driven medicine – private hospitals are neither cheaper nor more efficient than public ones. Clear Answers summarizes the huge body of evidence showing that they are more expensive and less efficient.

The experts are not divided on this question. For example, the New England Journal of Medicine says bluntly that, in decades of research, "No peer-reviewed study has found that for-profit hospitals are less expensive."

No doubt our health-care system needs help, but in Clear Answers, Kevin Taft and Gillian Steward show – based on overwhelming evidence – that turning to for-profit medicine for solutions will only make costs higher and waiting lists longer. Canadians and their governments face a clear choice between private profit and the public interest.

Clear Answers is available from Parkland Institute. Contact us for details.

Gillian Steward

Gillian Steward is a Calgary-based author and journalist. She currently writes a regular column for the Toronto Star and teaches journalism at Mount Royal University. She was the managing editor at the Calgary Herald from 1987 to 1990, and was the publisher/editor of Alberta Views magazine in 2006/07. In 2014 Ms. Steward completed a PhD in Communication Studies at the University of Calgary.

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Kevin Taft

Kevin Taft received his Ph.D. (Business) from the University of Warwick, and also holds degrees from the University of Alberta. He is a former member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, former leader of the Alberta Liberal party, and the author of numerous reports and books for the Parkland Institute, including Shredding the Public Interest. His most recent book is Oil’s Deep State (Lorimer, 2017).

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