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Contracting a sexually transmitted disease can be a worrying and intimidating situation. However, you are not alone. According to CBC, there has been a shocking increase in sexually transmitted infections all across Canada.
That being said, regular STD testing and treatment is critical and there are a variety of clinics you can turn to. Today, we will compare Canada’s public and private health sectors. Specifically, we will talk about the advantages of a private medical clinic for testing and treating STDs.
What is Public Healthcare in Canada?
Canada has a robust public health care system. Under the Canada Health Act, provincial insurance policies cover all specialists, dental surgery, hospitals, and primary care doctors. The latter of which is the most popular.
Primary care doctors and public clinics are the frontline of Canada’s health care system. Currently, there are over 30,000 primary care physicians in Canada, which is over half of the total number of physicians in Canada, public and private. These public primary care physicians are responsible for providing preventative care and basic medical treatments.
Specialists and hospitals also fall under the umbrella of public healthcare. However, they operate on the basis of referrals or on an emergency basis.
When it comes to STD testing and treatment, specifically, testing is free across Canada. You can find free STD testing at family doctors’ offices, sexual health clinics, walk-in clinics, community centers, and public health units.
Pros & Cons of a Public Medical Clinic
Canada’s Universal Healthcare System has a number of advantages and disadvantages.
- Provides access of healthcare to everyone.
- Excellent Primary Care Clinics
- High ranking in Health Performance and Quality of Living
- No excessive co-pays, bills, or paperwork
- Universal access can mean long wait times.
- Rural areas may not receive equal care or services.
- The Canadian Healthcare system is directly impacted by political decisions on the federal level.
These are things to take into consideration when making your decision about where to get your STD testing done. You may find that the private health care sector caters to your needs more than the public sector.
What is a Private Medical Clinic?
Private medical clinics can offer a number of specialized services in Canada. Technically, under federal law, they are not allowed to provide services that fall under the coverage of the Canadian Health Act. However, many private medical clinics offer those services anyways.
In general, private medical clinics have the advantage of better facilities and equipment. Moreover, they have more efficient access to certain services than the public health sector. For example, getting and MRI scan in a hospital could take a long waiting period. On the other hand, a private clinic can get an MRI in a shorter period of time.
However, private clinics often come with higher costs. As a result, private clinics in Canada tend to upset the balance of the universal healthcare system because it seems to favor individuals with higher incomes. Granted, there are private insurance policies that can also cover the costs of private medical treatment.
Pros & Cons of A Private Medical Clinic
Apart from better facilities and equipment, private clinics offer a number of great benefits over public clinics.
- Private clinics have better equipment.
- They provide faster medical service with little to no delays.
- You can choose your doctor and even request a replacement.
- They deal with leading pharmaceutical dealers.
- Private insurance can cover bigger costs that are not covered by the public insurance policies.
- They are not cheap.
- Private health insurance covers big costs, but it does not cover all services.
Again, the greatest drawback of private medical clinics is that it does not promote the same equality of the public system. However, when it comes to STD testing and treatment, there is a bit more efficiency in the process. Moreover, you can be certain that you are receiving top quality services.
Free Online Testing
Whether you go public or private, STD or STI testing is an awkward and unpleasant experience. This is why a number of providers and entrepreneurs are trying to transition STD and STI testing to an online platform, which can minimize the number of awkward interactions and improve confidentiality.
There are a few options for online testing in Canada. All of which are a simple, straightforward process. The first step is to visit a website where you will fill out a form with basic screening information. You will then order a home testing kit. After that, you will drop off or send in your sample at a testing facility.
Lastly, you will be emailed when your results are ready, and you can log into the website to read them. If you get a positive result, there are professionals at the ready to help you figure out the next steps.
Much like private clinics and private testing, the greatest downside to online testing is the cost. At home testing kits can have a high price tag, which makes them unavailable to a number of people.
Granted, the development of at-home testing is still quite young. Hopefully with more innovation and funding, online testing can be universally available.
STDs and STIs are becoming more prevalent as sex education and culture continue to evolve. As a result, getting tested regularly and finding affordable and efficient treatment is becoming more of a priority for people.
At the end of the day, admitting you have an STD is difficult enough as it is. Trying to find the best treatment options for it should not make things even more difficult. Fortunately, you have many options out there.
Public clinics are great on the side of affordability, but private clinics have lower wait times, greater flexibility in terms of doctors and services, better equipment, and are connected to leading pharmaceutical companies.
You may be paying a higher price, but you are dealing with your STD in the most efficient and effective way possible.