Ten years ago the medical profession in Canada was conscripted into a compulsory national health insurance scheme without any prior consultation. Predictions that an open-ended, so-called “free” medical insurance scheme would lead to cost overruns and deterioration of medical services as well as inflationary trends have come true. Federal and provincial governments now attempt to contain costs by closing active treatment beds or filling them up with chronic patients and by attrition of existing facilities. Compulsory national health insurance has not led to lower morbidity nor greater longevity. It has only provoked an insatiable demand from the public for more and more “free” services, with the result that the system has become a quagmire of cost overruns and unfulfilled and unrealizable promises.