Market Watch, October 20, 2010

Each Canadian province manages its own health care, and so Quebec allows its citizens to pay for some private procedures such as MRIs. Irving’s home province of Ontario forces residents to wait up to a year to get the imaging done under Canada’s government-run insurance program. So she’s engaging in what some call “medical tourism.”

Irving’s case is emblematic of the debate currently going on inside the U.S.’s neighbor to the north: whether to introduce more privatization into the Canadian health-care system that has been a source of national pride for nearly half a century.

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