The private sector on health care’s front lines: a new deal?

The central role of primary health care is indisputable. As the point of entry to our health-care system, primary care should in theory meet 80 per cent of Quebecers’ health and social service needs by preventing health problems from occurring or worsening. The Legault government’s health-care reform plan (Plan santĂ©) aims to entrust primary care to Family Medicine Groups (or GMFs for groupes de mĂ©decine de famille) ― 75 per cent of which are privately owned ― and they are making it sound like this is a bold and innovative solution. Looking back at the last 50 years, Anne Plourde, author and researcher at the Institut de recherche et d’informations socioĂ©conomiques (IRIS), found that the opposite is true. Private-sector involvement in primary care is nothing new, and the dominant view of primary care in QuĂ©bec has largely been shaped by the private sector.

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