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ALBERTA'S THIRD PLAN WHAT'S THE PLAN (Globe and Mail)

PUBLICATION: IDN: DATE: PAGE: BYLINE: SECTION: EDITION: DATELINE: WORDS: WORD COUNT:

GLOBE AND MAIL 060610200 2006.03.02 A5 National News Metro 580 578

HOW DOES ALBERTA'S PROPOSED HEALTH−CARE REFORM COMPARE TO QUEBEC'S? THE METHODS ALBERTA −Both plans embrace an increased reliance on private care, but Alberta is offering to allow doctors to work in both the public and the private sector and would permit patients to pay for faster access to some procedures. QUEBEC −Quebec has promised to provide hip and knee replacements and cataract operations within six months or else pay to have them done at private clinics. If the treatments are not available within nine months, the province will pay to send patients to another province or to the United States. HOW THE PLANS DIFFER ALBERTA −Province would not merely permit doctors to work simultaneously in both the public and private systems, it would insist upon them doing so. −All doctors would have to devote a minimum amount of their practice to public care. −Private care would not necessarily be paid for by the public system, and patients who can afford it could get faster access to surgery by dipping into their own pockets. −There is no discussion of a waiting−times guarantee. QUEBEC −Quebec would require doctors to choose between the public and private systems. −It would consider restricting the number of doctors who could opt out of the public system if the exodus threatens to deplete resources. −In the initial phases, it would restrict the types of private care that would be paid for by the public system for knee, hip and cataract surgeries. −It is talking about a waiting−times guarantee. THE STRENGTHS ALBERTA −Proposals come after many years of complaints by the province that the existing public−care system was too restrictive. −Supporters of private care argue that it will allow flexibility, while at the same time, the amount of care provided is increased. 115

03/02/2006

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