Authors: Carl Irvine and Dr. David Gratzer

Medicare and User Fees seeks to provide a second opinion about the practicality and implications of introducing some form of cost sharing to the Canadian health care system. Numerous studies, including one of the largest social science experiments in history, suggest that user fees do change patient behaviour. These studies also suggest that, if properly employed, user fees have no impact on health outcomes. User fees, thus, are safe and effective.

The authors of Unsafe at any Price do not suggest that user fees are a panacea for Canadian health care. Instead they point out that the problems facing medicare are numerous and complex but, with that being said, governments have been increasingly willing to experiment with new initiatives over the past decade and the time has come for a serious look at user fees.

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