A few weeks ago, my wife and I attended the Country Classic Auction, an incredible charitable event held annually to raise money for the London Health Sciences Foundation. This year, there were over 1,200 attendees who collectively donated millions of dollars to support the foundation’s campaign goal of $200 million by 2018.

These types of hospital foundation fundraiser campaigns are commonplace in philanthropic circles across Canada. They include, among others, the popular Princess Margaret Home Lottery and the SickKids VS Initiative, which bring in hundreds of millions of dollars annually from private citizens. Most of the funds raised are earmarked for desperately-needed medical infrastructure and research development.

That raises an important question: why is it that our publicly funded health care system is so dependent on private fundraisers?