Devon General Hospital. File photo.
Ed Kaiser Ed Kaiser / Ed Kaiser/Postmedia
Re. “Review a precursor to privatization,” Letters, Feb. 23Guy Smith’s letter is extremely misleading and an overt attempt at fear-mongering. No stats, or source of information is provided, only that Alberta spends less as a percentage of GDP on health than other provinces.According to the Canadian Institute for Health, the national per capita spent on health care in 2017 was $6,000. Alberta spent the second-highest of all provinces, at $7,300 per capita, with Newfoundland spending $7,400 and B.C. spending $6,300.The report does not indicate what health services were included, i.e. doctors’ visits, prescription subsidies, hospital care, hospice and seniors long-term care, in-home care, bulging administration expenses, front-line staff costs.The report also indicates that health-care expenditures increase as the population ages.From newborn to age 14, the average spent per capita is $1,500. For individuals over 65, the average is $11,300. Alberta has the lowest average age of 36, while Newfoundland has the highest at 45. From this raw data, it appears a review is necessary.It’s puzzling why Mr. Smith is leery of a review, as the UCP have indicated any money saved on administration cutbacks would be readdressed to front-line workers, the very employees that are members of his, and other unions.Norm Harley, St. AlbertPrivate health care should be optionI am certainly not surprised that the president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees is against private health care.I say bring it on. The majority of countries with both public and private health-care services all have much shorter wait times than Canada. In fact, we are one of the few nations to rely on a publicly funded system entirely. North Korea comes to mind as another, while nations such as the U.K., most of the EU, and Australia receive the benefits of a dual system.It also would give doctors an alternative, whereas today they are slaves to the pubic system.Health care is the only service in this country for which there is just a single provider. In dentistry, education, religion and haircuts, I have choices, so why not health care? A public system is certainly necessary, but not to the exclusion of private providers.Art Davison, Sherwood ParkLetters welcomeWe invite you to write letters to the editor. A maximum of 150 words is preferred. Letters must carry a first and last name, or two initials and a last name, and include an address and daytime telephone number. All letters are subject to editing. We don’t publish letters addressed to others or sent to other publications. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org