________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 24. . . .February 22, 2013


Should Canadians Have Private Clinics? (Canadian Issues).

Kaite Goldsworthy.
Calgary, AB: Weigl, 2013.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $14.95 (pbk.), $27.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-77071-230-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77071-216-4 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Medical care-Canada-Juvenile literature.
Clinics-Government policy-Canada-Juvenile literature.
Health insurance-Self-insurance-Juvenile literature.

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up.

Review by Iris Casey.

*** /4





For: With a growing population and advances in medicine, Canada’s health care system has experienced many changes and continues to face several challenges. Some people feel Canada’s health care system does not work effectively for Canadians. As the population of Canada has increased and health care costs have risen, the current system has struggled to keep up with demands. In the last 15 years alone, costs have increased 260 percent. Long waiting times, doctor shortages, and a shortage of hospital beds are just a few of the problems the public system is currently facing…Private Care Reduces Health Care Costs…Private Care Keeps Resources and Expertise in Canada…Private Care Reduces Public Waiting Times…Two-Tiers Provides More Health Care Options.

Against: Many Canadians find the idea of private health care to be neither ethical nor fair, as it provides care only for those who can afford it...In a two-tiered system, two people with the same medical problem could receive different care if one of them can afford private health care. This goes against the idea of universal health care, one of the five principles in the Canada Health Act…The answer is not to provide quicker or better services to those with money, but to improve the system Canada already has...Universal Health Care Is for Everyone…The Myth of Longer Wait Times…Public Health Care Provides a Positive Patient Experience…Public Health Care is Cost Effective.


The title’s question, which is on many Canadians’ minds (as well as Americans’), is effectively dealt with in this book which encourages debate on the issues being presented.

     Should Canadians Have Private Clinics?, a “Canadian Issues” book, is recommended for Grades 10 and up – yes, even for adults. It covers the pros and cons of the issue of privatization of Canadian Health Services fairly well and quite clearly gives the reader background, stats, the arguments, and the perceived impact on Canadians in the future.

     The project coordinator, Heather Kissock, is a Canadian author who has written many nonfiction books whose subjects range from animals to Aboriginal groups to rights of Canadians.

     The “flip” format (one half is “pro”, the other half is “con”), as well as the mirrored chapter headings, makes it easy for the reader to clarify the information given for each side of the argument.

      Each half of the book has a vocabulary page to review key terms, a brief quiz on the information presented, a concept web, and, overall, the book’s contents encourage debate on the issue. The colourful layout includes relevant photos on each page, and, the book, although a little repetitive, presents the information clearly.


Iris Casey is a retired Peel District School Board teacher in ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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