Private healthcare in Québec

Posted by

My parents live on the Southshore of Montréal where I grew up.  These last few years, since I’ve been pastor of a parish, my ability to get to visit my family at Christmas has been rather limited and rushed. Lately, I’ve made it a point to spend some time with them earlier in December for about 5 days and then again on December 26th for what my mother calls a “jet visit” a couple of days.

This year my father’s health was of concern to all of us during the holidays. He’s been suffering from his usual arthritis and the added bonus of what the specialist thinks is sciatica. It’s not been pleasant and at 82 years, he doesn’t have much patience for this.

Recent x-rays were not conclusive so the doctor recommended a CTScan  and an MRI.  He was told to call the local hospital to see how long he would have to wait.  My mother and I both agreed, that if the wait was too long he should consider one of the province’s private imaging clinics which provided these services for a fee.  When my father called the hospital, not only could he not get an appointment, he couldn’t even get through on the phone to make an appointment. With that, the usually frugal consumer had a second look at this private option.

My father soon discovered that his extended health benefits covered up to 75% of fees at private clinics. With that news his decision was rather simple and he made an appointment and within days has his CTScan.

I was very happy for my father. Regardless of what his insurance paid or not my family was prepared to get him whatever he needed to get better. But I am also very much aware that I don’t believe in private health care. And here I am using it!  What else am I to do? My family had to make a choice to take advantage of the fact that we could pay for this service. In fact we should not have had to. The services of our health system should be available within a reasonable amount of time.  What of the family that does not have the money to pay? What do we do for them?

This is probably one of the most important moral issues we have to face in Canada… the sharing of our resources… and especially our healthcare resources.  God willing our Church and especially our Bishops will have the courage to speak up.  Much time and effort has been taken up with the tribulations of correct liturgical translations and the miniscule number of same-sex marriages. Meanwhile average Canadians are looking for a prophetic voice to challenge our governments to work on universal and timely healthcare, serious environmental policies, affordable housing, realistic day-care options and the fight against child poverty.


  1. The Catholic Church is not a political party. Your average Canadians have politicians to represent their healthcare concerns.

    Our bishops represent the interests of Christ’s bride, the Church. Liturgical form matters to God and respect for liturgy affirms our most solemn moment of prayer, the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Likewise, the example of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph provides an authentic witness for Christian marriage against its demonic counterfeits such as “same-sex” marriage.

    If the Church is One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic, then liturgy and the vocation of marriage are fundamental and proper teaching areas of the Bishops. Not politics. I can’t believe a priest would suggest that.


  2. Healthcare? Housing? Day Care?

    What about prayer, Father? What about the last four things–death, judgment, heaven, and hell? What about confession, penance, love, hope and charity? How about the Bishops teach Catholics how to attain heaven instead of government handouts?

    I’ve been a Catholic long enough to know that calls for Catholic “prophetic voices” is usually code for dissident voices or liberal social scheming voices. What the “prophetic voices” are really saying is this: “Can we please stick with safe topics like peace, justice, recycling and Alpha courses? I’m afraid if I teach on on sin and salvation I might sound judgemental and the parish will think I’m a mean person…”

  3. I hope the Canadian Government is not paving the way for a US type of health care …. total disaster … we have a feeling that here in France – where I live – the present government is gradually trying to bring in the American system …. 😦

  4. Interesting issues being raised… the Church should stay out of politics, i.e. healthcare or social issues but should be involved in how the state regulates marriage? I’m not sure why there is a difference. The Church has a right and obligation to speak about all those issues.

    As for comments that priests hesitate to speak out on moral issues so not to seem mean… well, you’re too late buddy. There’ re lots who think we are mean. We disappoint people every single day. If pleasing people, even you, were the measure of succesful ministry, well we should give up now. Then again, it was never the measure of Jesus’ ministry either.

    Yes to penance, judgement and hell, especially to those who allow millions of their citizens to live without proper health care. I’ll say it again: It is a disgrace to the Catholic Church in Canada, and the U.S. that this issue is not raised as a moral issue.

  5. Personal opinion. I cannot separate the affair of the Church from the affairs of the state. The bride of Christ is the same constituents that are affected by the affairs of the state. Salvation is not only transcendent (after we die) but also immanent (here and now). Would it be good too to experience being save here on earth from poverty, unfair/improper health policy. no enough housing and ect. How I wish I can separate my body from my soul… so the Church will only limit it’s teaching on issues purely spiritual.But I am unified or embodied spirit that needs to experience “total salvation ” while here on earth…

  6. I am totally with you “rachetteil” all the way… what a marvelous understanding. However I don’t get the “how I wish I can separate my body from my soul” part. I’m being sincere here. We are called to glory with the Lord, in our whole being… body and soul. Thanks for your contribution!

  7. I refered my statement to the comment on the Church involvement as if limiting it only to spiritual matters/to spiritual needs of man/woman. It cannot be for we are unified being and as what you’ve said that we are called to glorify God with our whole being thus, salvation is also intended to be “whole/ total ” person called by God to glorify Him as a whole being “body and soul.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s