Mr. Speaker, I am afraid the hon. member has to accept the fact that the provinces in their report last Friday declared that the health care system was not in crisis. It faces serious problems, particularly in relation to cost pressures that must be addressed.
Let me come to the member's question. The cost drivers in health care can be managed through changes in the way health care is organized and delivered. That is why we are anxious to support provincial efforts to innovate in areas like primary health care reform, for example the current system of fee for service as opposed to a different approach.
The province of Ontario has talked about getting 80% of its physicians over the next four years on to different methods of payment, apart from fee for service. I am anxious to support innovation of that kind. I believe that by using information technology, by measuring performance and by looking at the way we can influence the rate of increase of costs we can indeed keep our system sustainable. It will take innovation. It will take change.
The alliance party opposite would have us go in a different direction. It would have us go toward the private parallel for profit system of health care. The facts show that will not work.
I disagree fundamentally with the approach it favours. I do not believe Canadians agree with that approach for a moment. I think Canadians expect us to work very hard to keep the principles in place to preserve the public nature of medicare but not to take the American style approach. It will not work and it will not be supported by Canadians.