$2 billion in wages lost waiting for medical treatment

For the first time, the estimated number of Canadians who waited for medically-necessary treatment exceeded one million in 2017: Fraser Institute

$2 billion in wages lost waiting for medical treatmentWaiting for surgery and medical treatment can be a painful and personally frustrating experience for many Canadians. It’s also a costly one. A new study released on Wednesday by the Fraser Institute says long waits cost Canadians $1.9 billion in lost wages last year and for the first time, the estimated number of Canadians who…

How do we end emergency room madness?

The simple solution to overcrowding in our hospitals is to allow Canadians to purchase health insurance that covers medically-necessary care

How do we end emergency room madness?Delirium can result from waiting too long in an emergency room. And the chances of that happening in Canada have never been greater. The Canadian Institute for Health Information released a report in January that showed the average wait time in an emergency room in 2016-17 was up by 11 per cent. An unacceptable one…

Hiring consultants to fix health-care systems doesn’t work

Too often, politicians wrongly assume that the leaders of health organizations are unwilling and unable to bring about bold reforms

Hiring consultants to fix health-care systems doesn’t workUsing management consultants to design reforms for Canada’s health systems has become an increasingly popular strategy used by provincial and federal governments over the past several decades. But it’s not always been good value for money spent. So why do governments do it? In my home province of Manitoba, the newly-installed Conservative government of Premier…

Not every mental health concern requires a doctor

Perhaps the elixir of good feeling is available at a friend’s house, at the next desk in the office, or from a partner or spouse

Not every mental health concern requires a doctorBy David Zitner and Dominic Covvey Contributors Troy Media Canadians suffer when important mental health services are unavailable or wait times are too long. Fortunately, many of us – including children, parents, other relatives and friends – may find and implement worthwhile solutions to important problems while people wait. However, some people are afraid to try.…

How do we address Canada’s scarcity of doctors?

Greater use could be made of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, including for relatively uncomplicated medical procedures

How do we address Canada’s scarcity of doctors?While health care is a dynamic service characterized by the continual introduction of new drugs and medical devices, physicians remain at the centre of health-care delivery. So it’s worth noting that Canada lags well behind almost all developed countries in the availability of physician services. Canada ranks 29th out of 33 high-income countries for the number…

Canada’s health-care wait times hit new record high

Although we know that universal systems elsewhere deliver more timely access at similar or lower costs, we still pursue wrong-headed policies

Canada’s health-care wait times hit new record highCanada’s national shame is at a record high, with no cure in sight. In 2016, we hit the 20-week mark for the average wait time for treatment by a specialist (across 12 medical specialities) after referral from a general practitioner. Twenty weeks is a far cry from the 9.3-week wait measured by the Fraser Institute’s…

Looking beyond our borders for health-care cures

Compared to other countries, Canada has a high-cost system that delivers mediocre, and sometimes remarkably poor, performance

Looking beyond our borders for health-care curesAs patients, caregivers and taxpayers, all Canadians care deeply about our health-care system. It’s important to us that the system has the necessary resources, is accessible, and delivers high-quality treatment at an affordable and sustainable cost. Unfortunately, it’s increasingly clear that we have a high-cost system that delivers mediocre, and sometimes remarkably poor, performance. That's…

How Alberta can deal with the ‘silver tsunami’ health-care crisis

If the NDP is going to lose the next election, the government should just fall on its sword and introduce a sales tax

How Alberta can deal with the ‘silver tsunami’ health-care crisisAs a baby boomer, I’m very concerned about my future dignity in Alberta. For the past two months, my 85-year-old mother-in-law, who suffers from dementia, has lived in Foothills Hospital because there are no long-term care facilities that can accept her. Her days (and nights) are spent locked in a chair because she wanders and…

There is nothing to fear from private health care

In fact, removing prohibitions would better utilize our health care professionals and reduce the suffering of those on long waiting lists

There is nothing to fear from private health careIn a recent multi-part series that included an opinion piece headlined “Double-dipping doctors defy the spirit of Canadian health-care,” the Globe and Mail alleged that physicians working in private medical clinics are billing both the public system and the patient for the same service. Shortly after, Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced an…

The hidden, and high, cost of “free” health care in Canada

We have one of the most expensive health-care systems in the world, yet other countries with universal health care routinely outperform us

The hidden, and high, cost of “free” health care in CanadaIt seems like a simple question: how much do you pay for public health care? And yet it’s one that most Canadians would struggle to answer. Many would say “it’s free.” Others may point to health-care premiums in provinces that charge them. And those more familiar with the statistics may cite the amount Canada spends…