By opening up a European health care market where patients may travel and use the health care services they deem necessary without the permission or interference of their national health care authorities, the EU has laid the groundwork for a consumer-driven revolution in health care. How different from Canada. Here provincial bureaucrats decide if a treatment available in another province is something they will pay for, and if so, how much they will reimburse. They decide if the waiting times for various procedures are too long, and therefore whether to give permission to get those procedures elsewhere. In this commentary from the March 1, 2004 National Post AIMS president Brian Lee Crowley and Johan Hjertqvist, the director of the Health Consumer Policy Centre of Timbro in Stockholm, argue if Canadian health care consumers, who are asking for ever more authority over their health and their lives, are to succeed in getting it, Europe is showing the way.
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