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A doctor treats a patient at the Dryden Regional Health Centre emergency room in Dryden, Ont.
A doctor treats a patient at the Dryden Regional Health Centre emergency room in Dryden, Ont.
(DEBORAH BAIC/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Paying for privacy is a tough issue for hospitals

In Canada, we like to think that our healthcare is “free,” but we actually have some of the highest out-of-pocket health costs in the developed world – about 30 per cent of health spending, or $63-billion a year.

What medicare – the name given to our loose collection of publicly-funded health insurance plans – covers is “medically necessary” care, an ill-defined term that is generally interpreted as meaning hospital and physician services.