Saturday, May 23, 2009

Canadian healthcare over-priced and under-performing

Well what else is new? Nevertheless, Keith Martin is one of the few politicians with the moxey to criticize Canada’s most sacred cow. Here are some points from his take on the Canadian Medical Association’s findings:

Contrary to public opinion, Canada does not have "the best health-care system in the world." We actually rank 26th, and yet have the fifth-highest expenditures for health care.

... Of the world's top 20 national health-care systems, 17 are European.

... in Europe patients are placed at the centre of the health-care system. European hospitals are not paid solely by block funding. ... The medical system therefore treats patients as an asset, because resources are provided for treating each person.

... When Europeans hear that Canadians tolerate atrocious waiting lists of nine to twelve months or more for care, and endure the pain, suffering and loss of function that accompanies these wait times, they are shocked.

... Unfortunately, since the debate around health-care reform remains mired in the false assumption that changes to our current system would result in a "U.S.-style system," policy-makers stick their heads in the sand hoping no one will notice.

... The Canada Health Act, and its five principles that govern health care in Canada (public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability and accessibility), is broken in every province, every day.

Excellent points. It’s too bad more politicians don’t show some balls and speak up for reform.


Scott Merrithew said...

The only thing that will break through the smug but ill-informed arrogance of most Canadians (or anyone else for that matter) is the realization that people are laughing at them.
Ridicule is a powerful weapon which can be used for evil or for good. Since no one like to be laughed at, weak minds can be manipulated or enlightened by well targeted ridicule.

In this case, we always hear proud claims that our healthcare system and Tommy Douglas' legacy make Canada one of the best places in the world. I think Canada IS one of the best places in the world to live, but unrestrained bureaucracy has paralyzed the system, and administration has increased the costs to stratospheric levels.

When people realize that Canada's health care system is ranked so poorly by world standards, they will be shaken from their self imposed stupour, and only then will valid suggestions for improvement be tolerated.

JR said...

Ridicule would certainly help shift opinion if people were able to hear it. But the problem is, our mostly leftist mainstream media are more inclined to promote Saint Tommy's daughter, Shirley's, noisy rants, as well as vocally resistant-to-change organizations such as nurses unions. As sda likes to say: "Tommy Douglas, not dead enough!"

Scott Merrithew said...

Well, blogs like yours JR and others in the blogosphere are slowly changing that. At least the truth is being told and millions are seeing it. Even amidst the noisy rants you mentioned.
I'm an optimist. :)

L said...

I want access in Canada to the best the world can provide. I have money and want have my medicare-necessary- authorized surgery combined with (I pay)cosmetic surgery in a hospital, as needed. This is done in the US, which is why people like Belinda Stronach go south for one operation to achieve two goals.

JR said...

Scott, Yes, optimism is good. There is Hope for Change as slow as it is to materialize.

Speaking of "Hope" and "Change", L makes a good point. Canada's alternative private health-care system has always been America. But with Obama about to institute a big-government universal system how much longer will we have that option?