The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

February 19, 2008 16:38 ET

The Fraser Institute: Castonguay Commission's Report a Good Start but Additional Taxation Should Not Be Needed

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 19, 2008) - While the Castonguay Commission's long-awaited report on health care in Quebec offers recommendations with the potential to improve the provincial health care system, Quebecers should be cautious of its call for new taxes, says Tasha Kheiriddin, The Fraser Institute's Director for Quebec et la Francophonie.

"This report is a good start and the Commission is to be commended for its strong stand on allowing the creation of a mixed delivery system that will better serve the health care needs of Quebecers," Kheiriddin said.

"But increasing sales taxes and creating a special fund for health care is not a sound idea. Medicare does not need more money; it needs reform to ensure we get value for money."

Since 1993, the Fraser Institute has measured wait times for health care services across Canada. Over this period, the median wait time from GP referral to treatment for health care in Quebec has increased from 7.3 weeks to 19.4 weeks in 2007. At the same time, inflation-adjusted provincial health care spending per capita has increased by 34%.

"Given the deterioration in Quebec's health care system, people should be demanding change," said Nadeem Esmail, Fraser Institute's director of health system performance studies.

"Quebecers need to ensure their health care dollars are buying them the best quality of care. Should the report's recommendations on a mixed delivery system be implemented, following the examples of nations like Sweden and Switzerland, Quebec would be on its way towards developing a system that delivers timely access to high quality care, not rationing and wait lists."

The Fraser Institute is an independent research and educational organization with offices in Calgary, Montreal, Tampa, Toronto, and Vancouver. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit

Contact Information

  • The Fraser Institute
    Julie Lajoye
    Communications Officer, Quebec et la Francophonie
    (514) 281-9550, ext. 302
    The Fraser Institute
    Tasha Kheiriddin
    Directrice pour le Quebec et la Francophonie
    Cell: (514) 758-0466
    The Fraser Institute
    Dean Pelkey
    Director of Communications
    (604) 714-4582