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Mini-hospitals: The MEI applauds the government’s calls for interest

Montreal, March 7, 2023 – The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) applauds the announced publication of the calls for interest regarding the pilot project involving mini-hospitals run by independent entrepreneurs, as reported by Le Journal de Québec this morning.

“With these calls for interest, the government is showing that it has understood the health system’s problems, and the fact that it will take more inventiveness, rather than just more money, to solve them,” says Emmanuelle B. Faubert, economist at the MEI. “By going ahead with the mini-hospital project, the government will grow the treatment capacity, which should reduce wait times.”

During the last election campaign, Premier François Legault committed to introducing a pilot project for two mini-hospitals run by independent entrepreneurs, but accessible with the Quebec medicare card, in the east end of Montreal and in Quebec City.

In its most recent prebudget brief, the MEI reiterated to the Quebec government the importance of going ahead with the mini-hospitals project. A recent Ipsos poll commissioned by the MEI testifies to the appetite of Quebecers for more private sector involvement in health care. Three-quarters (75%) of Quebec respondents agree that a decentralization of the system is needed, and 67% want the government to “allow patients increased access to health care services provided by independent health entrepreneurs.”

The Institute has been writing about the potential gains for patients from the introduction of a mixed health care system in Quebec since 1999.

A typical example is that of the Saint-Göran hospital in Sweden, which is run by a group of independent entrepreneurs, but accessible to all within the country’s universal health care system.

The MEI also notes that in France, the private sector takes care of the administration of 55% of hospitals, with good results for patients.

“Access to health care in a timely manner is more important to Quebecers than the administrative structure of the care facility,” says Ms. Faubert. “International examples show us that mixed solutions work, and the Legault government is right to emulate them.”

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The MEI is an independent public policy think tank with offices in Montreal and Calgary. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policy-makers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship.

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