While the health care debate continues to heat up south of the border, Canadians still have very strong feelings about whether our publicly funded health care system is in need of a fix.

Unfortunately, our political leaders, the news media, and many of the organizations currently active in the health system are convinced that we have only two possible ways forward. They say that we can either award great or greater power in health care delivery to organizations controlled by the government, or to organizations owned by individuals.

In A Third Option for the Health Care Debate, authors Dianne Kelderman and Dr. David Zitner unveil a third option, health care co-operatives. There are over a hundred health care co-ops operating in the country today, especially in Québec and Saskatchewan. They are incontestable evidence of the determination and ability of ordinary people – people without medical training – to have a say in the design, delivery, and evaluation of health services that they and their neighbors receive.

To read the complete Commentary, click here.

Dr. David Zitner is a Family Physician and Medical Professor at Dalhousie University. He is AIMS Fellow in Health Care Policy. Dianne Kelderman is President of Atlantic Economics and CEO of the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council. She is also Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of AIMS.