“Power and Resistance; critical thinking about Canadian social issues.” Book Summary

Policy-making is the government’s responsibility. Policy formulations are intended to increase the quality of public services. It is the responsibility of the government to provide and control services that are required by all people. Health care is an important amenity that every human being needs. The most highly prioritized social service in Canada is health care. However, it also plays a significant role in women’s problems. This is because they form a significant part of the health care system, aside from women relying on health insurance on behalf of their families. The biggest population of nurses is made up of women thus any policy affecting health care, generally has an impact on a significant portion of the female population.

The medical insurance program provided by the Canadian government ensures that all citizens get basic health care services. Particularly, for women, pre-natal services are available and insurance-covered both in public and private medical facilities. These are the main feature of the insurance program. Instead of providing group-based health insurance covers, the program is inclusive of all groups but only for specified essential health care services. These makes the Canadian health care plan preferable to the U.S.A.’s program.

However, recent policy trends have indicated that soon health care services will be provided more in the private sector that in the public sector. The Canadian government keeps making reforms that aim to privatize the health care system. These policies make health care a market right. Such changes will not only affect the medical insurance program but also the health care system in general. The private sector is profit-motivated thus contradicting the objective of the insurance cover. Therefore, many Canadians may not have access to free health care services. Besides, transferring responsibilities such as remuneration of health care workers through privatization increases the chances of strikes by health employees and disrupting the system.

Privatization of the healthcare sector has had some negative impacts on the Canadian society. Medical services have become more expensive, and employment of workers has been affected. Unlike the public sector, the private sector cannot absorb a significant number of employees. These would increase the cost incurred by private medical facility making them less profitable. Privatization of health care has impacted significantly on women. While men prefer medical professions, women mainly provide medical services. Therefore, this reform has increased inequality as absorption of women into the system is low.

However, the government has formulated policies that make these adverse effects undetectable. The Ontario public hospital Act was enacted to deal with such issues. The increase in medical costs is as a result of hospitals’ private costs. They arise from drug purchasing costs and redefinition of health care services. The new act provides that accommodation in hospitals will be for those who need chronic attention but expenses go to the patient. For those requiring custodial care, the municipal makes daily payments to the hospitals to cover for their accommodation.

Aside from the Act’s provisions, the Canadian government that created a system that accommodates practices in both the private and public sector. For instance, profit making is the primary goal in the industry. The health care system has been reformed to accommodate services for profit. Private hospitals can charge for various kinds of medical services while public hospitals’ services are insurance covered. Besides, private insurance cover is allowed for services not covered by the public insurance.

Though privatization has improved the services provided in medical facilities, its impacts hurt the people more. Women, in particular, incur increased medical costs while their career opportunities diminish. Evidence and logic for privatization of health care are different. On the one hand, it improves the quality of medical services. Alternatively, it inflicts higher medical costs and financial instability for women.


Samuelson, L., & Antony, W. A. (1998). Power and resistance: Critical thinking about Canadian social issues. Fernwood Publishing.

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