How to resolve the health-care deadlock in Canada

How to resolve the health-care deadlock in CanadaThe Canada Health Act must permit more room for experimentation and innovation at a provincial level The provinces say they need more federal money for health. The federal government says it wants to be assured of improved outcomes first. In my view, adding money, even with various provinces and metrics, will not be sufficient. We…

Medicine shouldn’t just be cheap; it should be accessible

Medicine shouldn’t just be cheap; it should be accessibleNew drug price guidelines will hinder Canadians access to new and innovative treatments Cheaper prescription drugs are a bit like apple pie: sure to please just about everyone. But if lower prices come at the expense of access to potentially life-saving new medicine, that’s not quite so appetizing. Unfortunately, it seems that bureaucrats in Ottawa…

Private health insurance would ease Canadians’ suffering

Private health insurance would ease Canadians’ sufferingProvinces should allow other options, like duplicate insurance, so patients can access the care they need more quickly Over 660,000 Canadians are waiting for surgery at the moment, with many waiting long months and even years. For these people, each day stuck on a waiting list is 24 more hours of sore knees, of pain…

Canada’s health-care system is a disaster

Canada’s health-care system is a disasterForeign-trained health professionals could help alleviate the strain Canada’s medical system is fast becoming a disaster area and a tragedy. There are not nearly enough family doctors to provide primary health care. Walk-in clinics were supposed to backfill this need, but many now do not take walk-ins as their registered patient load is already beyond…

A Christmas wish list to fix our health care crisis

A Christmas wish list to fix our health care crisisAny ‘ tweaking’ by government could lead to unintended consequences Conservative leaders seem loath to mention health care in equal measure to journalists’ delight in raising it. John Ivison, a columnist at the National Post, took a stab at federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre last week: “You simply can’t aspire to be prime minister of Canada…

It’s not only in China that ideology trumps common sense

It’s not only in China that ideology trumps common senseCanada’s blind commitment to a failed ideology is worsening health-care outcomes When COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) strategists seized upon a radical plan to prevent the spread of the virus. Instead of adopting a pandemic plan to protect the oldest and weakest while keeping daily life functioning as normally as…

B.C. stuffs doctors’ mouths with gold: $135,000 raise

B.C. stuffs doctors’ mouths with gold: $135,000 raiseWill they take the money and run or stick to their principles? Family doctors in British Columbia seem to have struck gold this week. The province offered a $135,000, 54 per cent raise in return for a change from fee-for-service to a rostered – or what’s known as capitation-style – practice. This means average total…

Crowded emergency rooms adding hidden costs to health-care system

Overburdened emergency physicians tend to order more tests for less-severe patients

Crowded emergency rooms adding hidden costs to health-care systemIt’s no secret that emergency health care in Canada is in crisis. Staff shortages have caused some emergency departments to close temporarily as already stretched resources are pushed to the breaking point by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the crisis has been brewing across the developed world for decades, says University of Alberta business professor Mohamad…

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…
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