Manitoba New Democrats and their affiliated unions want a ban on private diagnostic clinics, where people pay directly for tests like MRIs and ultrasounds.
It’s not a new position. Nor is it a particularly compelling one, especially since it’s based largely on old, ideologically-driven ideas about how health care services should be delivered in the province.
But it’s become the center of debate again after two clinics in Manitoba announced in 2017 that they plan to sell diagnostic tests directly to the public.
The NDP/union opposition to private diagnostic clinics has nothing to do with preserving services in public health care. Allowing people to buy diagnostic tests from private providers doesn’t lengthen wait times in the public system, nor does it restrict access to it in any way. In fact, those who use their own after-tax dollars to buy those services privately are taking themselves off the public wait list, providing relief to the taxpayer-funded system.
It’s a win-win situation, really.