Mr. Speaker, I thank the leader of the New Democratic Party for keeping to the question that she had originally asked. It is refreshing.
The government believes it is very doubtful that a private system offering health services as consumer goods for profit would benefit the health of Canadians.
At the September 1994 conference of health ministers all ministers present, with the exception of Alberta, reached an agreement to regulate private clinics. It is clear that all provinces, with the exception of Alberta, are ready to take steps to end charges for medically necessary care at private clinics.
The imposition of facility fees is not a direction in which these provinces and the federal government see our health care system moving. Our health care system is evolving. Alternatives for health care may involve care clinics instead of an institutionalized setting. This can be beneficial. However, if it is accompanied by charges for medically necessary care, it will not be consistent with what has been the history of our publicly funded system.