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Private health care poll

Should B.C. allow for private health care?
A registered nurse takes a moment to look outside while attending to a ventilated COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit at the Humber River Hospital, in Toronto. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Health authorities in B.C. have given out about $393 million worth of contracts to private clinics to provide surgeries and medical imaging over the past six years, according to a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

“That money is going toward low-risk surgeries, such as endoscopy, cataracts and “low acuity” orthopedics,” report author Andy Longhurst said.

The issue, Longhurst adds, is that money and staff are being taken away from the public sector.

“There’s no question that there has been and continues to be extraordinary pressure on our public healthcare system,” said Longhurst.

“The challenge with providing and entrenching for-profit facilities is they’re relying on the same workforce that we need right now in our public system.”

READ MORE: Northwest B.C. communities call for help amid doctor shortage

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