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I got a little upset with my girlfriend (I’ll call her Cupcake) yesterday afternoon about health care. I’m in the market for a family doctor, but I’m not really keen on the ones listed on the health region’s website of doctors taking new patients. But at some point, I’ll go through the list and figure out which one to choose.

But Cupcake suggested that because her housemate’s mom works at a clinic, that I could probably get in there. Against which I argued that I had called and been advised that they weren’t taking new patients.

Cupcake went on to argue (and when I say argue, I simply mean it in the sense of a spirited debate) that health care is no different from any other industry in which knowing people can get you past some hurdles.

Sure, when I worked in banking, I may have gotten a better interest rate on my mortgage or GIC. But I couldn’t get the same for my family or friends. When I worked in hospitality, I may have gotten good rates or upgrades on rooms, and could probably get the same for family and friends. But not if the hotel was full.

Why would I expect to get in to see a doctor if the doctor’s not accepting new patients? Health care’s not a four-star restaurant where I can slip the maître d’ $20 to get a table when the restaurant’s full.

Health care is a right, not simply a privilege. While I may be able to find a doctor I like, I don’t necessarily get to pick the doctor I want.

Or maybe I’m wrong? Is health care a four-star restaurant?