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Your article Alliance Supports Two-Tier Health Care (Oct. 31) was classic hit-and-run journalism. The story implies that I said the Canadian Alliance would support the development of a two-tier health system when, in fact, I said no such thing, directly or indirectly.

To most Canadians, the phrase "two-tier health care" evokes images of a U.S.-style system where people must purchase private insurance or be left to rely on a safety net of Medicaid and Medicare. This in no way reflects the health-care policy of the Canadian Alliance.

As I made clear to The Globe, we support a universal, comprehensive, portable, accessible and publicly administered system of public health care. We believe that quality care should be available to all Canadians, regardless of their financial resources.

Your article makes a huge stretch by suggesting that the operation of private clinics somehow constitutes two-tier health care. Private clinics and providers already operate within the public system. Allowing provinces the flexibility to provide public services through private facilities does not contravene the principles of the Canada Health Act, or in any way undermine our basic public system. All it does is give Canadians more choice, while ensuring that their choices remain publicly funded.


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