January 18th, 2021

Are private health-care options really so bad?

By Letter to the Editor on March 24, 2020.

Re: Two-tiered health system would be a nightmare,” March 3 letter to the editor.

I disagree with Alan Spiller’s letter. I know of three persons who had hip replacement done in Montana. Two had both hips done, the other one hip. So that freed up five places for people in Alberta that need surgery.

Why did these people have to go to Montana for surgery? Because they had excruciating pain, and just couldn’t wait for up to a year for surgery. Now why couldn’t Alberta have a private clinic just for hip and knee surgery? To me and a lot of other people, it makes perfect sense.

These people had to pay big bucks, so why not keep that money in Alberta? Then everybody would benefit. So I know of three people who had surgery in Montana. There are probably many dozens more.

George van Bostelen


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As an alternative, why not improve the system for everyone?

Starving the health system for funds and then complaining that it is at its capacity shouldn’t justify a private health system for those who can pay for it.

Fedup Conservative

What does George think Ralph Klein did? He sold off the Grace Hospital and created a hip and knee hospital, allowed them to charge 10% more for operations and they still went broke. He also allowed the creation of private for profit MRI testing costing Albertans $700. – $800. each and we still have one of the worse systems in Canada.

Fescue is absolutely right. It worked well when Lougheed was collecting proper royalties, taxes, and health care premiums and funded it properly.

My American relatives, who are paying as much as $900. per month each for their system know our system is the best. They know that if you need $300,000. in health care services their insurance companies will only pay a portion of it and you are likely facing a $200,000. bill. It’s the number one cause of bankruptcies in the U.S.

Why should our fellow seniors, who can’t afford it, be forced to do without, while they suffer in horrific pain, while some rich guy can afford it?


the answer to the question – and thanks for excellent input fes and fed – is that in a two-tiered system the public version will be all the more neglected. this is because there is presently a shortage of virtually everything in the public system, much of it to do with purposely undermining public health so as to create a false need for a private system. a private system will suck away from those scant resources and further erode the quality of the public system.
the public system requires extensive auditing, with results bearing real teeth. too many inefficiencies, duplication of services, buying new technologies and drugs when they are at their most unreasonably expensive…. one of the easiest places to start is with drug plans. this country pays some of the highest costs in the world for prescription meds, and seems bent on lining big pharm pockets. moreover, seems we never pay big money for cures, but just get some maintenance instead, and several other drugs additional to mitigate the side effects of the newest and most expensive toxins big pharm and complicit, or, overly frazzled by info overload doctors dole out.



I lived in the usa for five years. I did not have health insurance.

I had a gall stone attack.

For a 20 min emergency room visit and shot of painkiller, the total bill was $4000.

The painkiller alone was $1000.

I scheduled my surgery to happen in Lethbridge, waited a few weeks, and paid $0.

Would have cost a rough estimate of $40,000 had I done it in the USA.

So yes, it’s bad.

We ought to never EVER move toward a system like they have in america. Nothing that ever resembles it.

Fedup Conservative

Thanks Uncle Buck for posting that. Many seniors seem to assume that if you have health care insurance you are fully covered , you aren’t. They will try everything they can to try to avoid paying anything at all and their customers usually end up trying to sue them to get what they are entitled to.