Leftist Canadian politician calls for government to seize private hospitals, staff and equipment to help fight the coronavirus
03/12/2021 // Arsenio Toledo // Views

A leading politician in Canada is suggesting that the government should seize private hospitals and their resources supposedly to help fight against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, co-spokesman of the far-left socialist party Quebec Solidaire (Solidarity Quebec), made this suggestion in a Facebook post written in French from late January. He has served as his party's spokesperson and as a member of Quebec's parliament, the National Assembly, since 2017.

Nadeau-Dubois expressed outrage when he was able to get an appointment to get a "Brazilian butt augmentation" from a private clinic within days after calling, while intensive care units in public hospitals all across the French-speaking province are supposedly overwhelmed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The politician's office reportedly called several private clinics. In every single one, he was offered appointments within days. In one large private clinic within the Montreal metropolitan area, he was even assured that it would use its own surgical room for the operation.

This particular clinic said that it was not incentivized to cancel or delay elective surgeries "unless the government tells us otherwise."

Nadeau-Dubois used this experience to recommend that the provincial government seize every single private healthcare institution in Quebec. This will supposedly lighten the burden public hospitals are dealing with.

Nadeau-Dubois' Facebook ends with a call for the private sector to finally help Quebec in the "war effort."

"The crisis we are experiencing is exceptional, and it requires exceptional measures. Quebec Solidaire proposes requisitioning the private healthcare sector in the fight against the pandemic. Private clinics urgently need to be integrated into the public health network. All private medical resources (clinics, surgical rooms, staff, equipment) that are deemed necessary in the fight against COVID-19 must be put at the service of our collective fight against the pandemic."

"The time has come for the private sector to contribute to the war effort. Lives depend on it."

Pierre-Guy Veer, writing for the Foundation for Economic Education, a libertarian and pro-free market think tank, argued that this will only make Quebec's healthcare situation even worse.

"One has to wonder whether [Nadeau-Dubois] has even skimmed through Quebec's administration of the healthcare system since it was nationalized some 50 years ago," wrote Veer. "Since the deep cuts of the mid-1990s under [former Premier] Lucien Bouchard, the nominal budget for healthcare has multiplied by a factor of 3.7, increasing five percent per year."


"And yet, waiting lists hardly budge."

Veer noted that in the Canadian Medicare-for-all system, a person has to wait an average of 371 days before he can see a family doctor, and people are on six-month-long waiting lists for elective surgeries in public hospitals.

This situation is not present in private hospitals, and Veer argued that seizing private operating rooms or even taxing the private sector is unlikely to shorten waiting times.

"Canadian lawmakers would be wise to emulate the private sector, not co-opt it," wrote Veer. "By utilizing markets, the private sector has shown it can lower both wait times and costs – something Canada's 'Medicare-for-all' system has failed to deliver."

Quebec Solidaire calls for postponement of cosmetic surgeries during lockdown

This is not the first time Nadeau-Dubois and Quebec Solidaire have expressed outrage over the fact that private clinics are still operating.

Earlier in January, the party, along with the Quebec College of Physicians, called for all cosmetic surgery clinics to shut down for the duration of the province's lockdown. (Related: Canadian government erecting a network of COVID detainment camps and "isolation" sites to incarcerate those who don't cooperate with medical tyranny.)

The College of Physicians argued that it is unconscionable for the province to continue performing elective procedures such as breast implants and facelifts while the public health system is overwhelmed by the pandemic.

Nadeau-Dubois took a more radical tone with regards to this issue.

"It is completely unacceptable in the middle of an acute crisis in our healthcare system that rich people are able to buy themselves a medical procedure, and it is a waste of very precious resources that that private system is able to work as usual," he said during an interview with CBC News.

The Quebec Solidaire co-spokesman went further than the college. He argued that not only should cosmetic clinics shut down, but all private clinics and hospital departments that are offering non-urgent medical procedures.

"The government should make sure all our medical resources in Quebec are in the service of our collective effort to fight the pandemic," he said.

"Our intensive care units are on the brink of collapse right now, that's what the front line workers are telling us," he added.

Echoing the statement he would make later regarding the private healthcare sector, he called on the provincial government to requisition all private "nurses, equipment, rooms and doctors" that are not taking part in the region's fight against COVID-19.

Learn more about how Quebec, the rest of Canada and other places around the world are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic by reading the latest articles at Pandemic.news.

Sources include:




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