1 in 6 government funded surgeries in Quebec now take place in private clinics

According to information from the Fraser Institute, private surgery clinics are playing a key role in Quebec’s health care system.

The data indicates, 1-in-6 government-funded day surgeries are done by private clinics.

“Quebec has increasingly used private clinics as part of its universal health care system, particularly during and after the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the surgical backlog,” said Yanick Labrie, Fraser Institute senior fellow and author of Lessons from the Public Private Partnerships in Surgical Care in Quebec.

“The Quebec experience shows that private clinics are a complement to, and not a substitute for, the public system.”

Since 2006, private clinics have been able to provide select surgeries covered by the Quebec health-care system. Prior to then, only knee and hip replacements and cataract surgeries were allowed to be done by private clinics.

Increased options have increased the number of clinics across the province. In 2014, there were 45 private clinics. That has since grown to 73 private clinics in 2023.

“Other provinces can look to the Quebec experience with public private partnerships in health delivery to see what is possible even within the Canada Health Act,” Labrie said.

“Canadian patients everywhere should have the same opportunities to access timely care no matter where they are in the country, including private clinics which are thriving in Quebec.”

The Fraser Institute notes public hospitals are also able to outsource certain surgeries to private clinics, which helps reduce hospital wait times.

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