Bureaucracy may be necessary, but it is never harmless

There is nothing that bureaucracy cannot make worse

Bureaucracy may be necessary, but it is never harmlessBureaucracy begats bureaucracy, building its own demand and transforming people into managers designed to meet bureaucratic needs. A bureaucracy designed to serve patients ends up serving its creators instead and protects those who work inside. Economist William Niskanen offered a definition of bureaucracies in his book Bureaucracy and Representative Government. Roughly speaking, he says, 1)…

Health care user fees promote equity and efficiency

Offer a small step to solving overconsumption and waste

Health care user fees promote equity and efficiencyTwenty-eight countries have universal healthcare. Twenty-two of them have some form of cost sharing. User fees offer one example. User fees work best as a small, flat fee paid at the point of service. Even a few dollars discourage (rational) people from booking an appointment for what they asked twice previously. User fees shorten the line…

Hospital woes continue to mount – nothing new here

More money won’t solve the systemic, pervasive, and structural issues that plague Canadian health care

Hospital woes continue to mount – nothing new hereHospital staffing in Ontario is in crisis – as it is in Alberta, British Columbia, and the rest of Canada. Provinces are responding with what they perceive as solutions: Ontario is fast-tracking foreign-trained nurses, and Alberta has made the interprovincial movement of professionals easier. But while these moves will help reduce the red tape surrounding…

Canadian health care at a crossroads

It’s time to stop talking about money and start talking about changing health care

Canadian health care at a crossroadsIt has been a revealing week for Canadian health care and what we have witnessed is not good. In Fredericton, NB, a senior passed away while waiting for care at a hospital emergency department. A witness noted that the man was “clearly in discomfort,” yet it wasn’t enough to gain the attention of health-care workers.…

Why Canada can’t reform its ailing health care system

Government, medical professionals, and public-sector unions each hold veto power over any innovation

Why Canada can’t reform its ailing health care systemThe Honorable Monique Begin wrote in 2009, “When it comes to moving health care practices forward efficiently, Canada is a country of perpetual pilot projects.” Governments need “financial control” and remain “leery” of committing to programs. Pilot programs are easy to shut down “to avoid criticism” or if “budget priorities shift.” At first glance, we…

Excess sugar costs Canada $5 billion each year: study

Researchers urge use of taxation, education and subsidies to encourage better eating habits

Excess sugar costs Canada $5 billion each year: studyImagine if the real cost to society of the food you buy at the grocery store was built right into each product’s price. Everything with added sugar would cost a whole lot more, according to University of Alberta researchers in a new study in The Canadian Journal of Public Health. They peg the economic burden of excessive…

Time to cure what ails Canada’s health-care systems

Health reform has been talked about enough

Time to cure what ails Canada’s health-care systemsThe need to reform Canada’s health-care systems has long been a hot topic of debate. After all, Canada is an easy target: It has one of the highest price tags among countries with universal health systems in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, but its performance has lagged for years. The effect of the…

Canada’s health care system one of the worst in the world

Canada ranks dead last in timely care, with the longest waitlists

Canada’s health care system one of the worst in the worldThe coronavirus hit Canada in March 2020. By the time that first wave had subsided in the summer, hundreds of thousands of scheduled surgeries had been postponed. But before that huge backlog could be reduced, a second and then a third wave of the virus struck, increasing the backlog by thousands more. Adding to the…

How to get Canada off the health care teeter-totter

Medicare struggles from funding thrown at the same tired ideas rooted in similar political traditions

How to get Canada off the health care teeter-totterLiberalism works when you are healthy but fails when you fall ill. Classical liberalism emphasizes autonomy, individual freedom, and free markets. These ideas have fuelled centuries of wealth and prosperity. Modern liberalism, in contrast, pursues central decision-making and equality of outcome. Despite similar names and obvious differences, neither type of liberalism provides arguments for everything…

How to improve health care and reduce costs

Health-care costs for seniors are rising. Privatized care can help manage this demand surge

How to improve health care and reduce costsBy Gauree Chawla Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy COVID-19 has left a gaping hole in Quebec’s health-care system. Lack of nursing personnel, testing shortages, overflooding hospitals and postponed surgeries have turned Quebec’s health care into complete chaos. “We must invest in the health-care system, which is in the process of crumbling,” argues Quebec…
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