Opposition NDP, Sask. Party debate over province’s private MRI scan bill

The Official Opposition says public-private health care is a lose-lose situation which drains funding and personnel from the public health system, making the wait times even longer.

Health Critic Vicki Mowat pointed out during Question Period at the Legislature that the private MRI scans done in Saskatchewan are go against the Canada Health Act, so it’s against the law, and that’s why the federal government is withholding funds from  the Canada Health Transfer payment.
She believes it’s the Sask Party government’s fault, as opposed to the Sask Party government blaming the federal government for clawing back the funds.
Health Minister Paul Merriman responded that Saskatchewan was one of eight provinces with a private option.
He stresses that through the agreement with the private clinics, for every private scan and public one is done, so the 15,000 private scans done actually means 30,000 scans completed.
Mowat answered that since the MRI bill was passed in 2015, wait times have shot up 63 per cent.
She says the reduction in health funding means Saskatchewan people will now have to foot the bill.
Merriman responded that the Sask Party focuses on delivering health care, not ideology, and they campaigned on this issue and were voted in with an overwhelming majority.

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