Despite his tough talk, Mr. Klein said he was "frustrated" that critics of his proposals were focusing only on the aspects that deal with the private delivery of health care. He told reporters that if Alberta goes ahead with legislation that breaches federal health rules, he would prefer to sort out any resulting problems with Ottawa using a special dispute−resolution process. Mr. Klein did strike a conciliatory note, however, saying it is conceivable that the most controversial aspects of his 10−point plan could eventually be scrapped and that he's open to ideas from not just Albertans, but the rest of the country. One of the five key principles of the Canada Health Act is accessibility; all insured residents of a province must have access to the same level of health care. Critics of the Alberta plan argue that principle would be violated if rich patients were permitted to pay for faster service in the private system. And, while Alberta Health Minister Iris Evans has said all doctors will be required to perform work in the public system, opponents of private care fear that allowing them to also work for profit will drain public health−care resources. Mr. Harper suggested yesterday that Quebec, which issued its own proposal for health−care reform less than two weeks ago, had developed a better solution for reducing the lengthy waiting times that are jeopardizing public health care. The Quebec plan also involves the use of private treatment, but on a more limited basis than the one put forward by Alberta. "Quebec has put out significant major changes, reforms to the health−care system but reforms that clearly respect principles of the Canada Health Act. I would encourage all provinces to do that," he said. ADDED SEARCH TERMS: GEOGRAPHIC NAME: Alberta; Canada SUBJECT TERM:health care; reform; privatization; federal− provincial relations PERSONAL NAME: Ralph Klein; Stephen Harper
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