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Saturday, May 28, 2005

State of (the) healthcare (debate)

It's pretty bad. The Halifax Herald notes in an editorial today that any mention of healthcare is invariably accompanied by the word crisis. And yet every discussion by those in a position to do anything about it (read: governments at all levels) has as its starting and end point more state-run healthcare. Unfortunately, the provinces don't have enough cash to take care of the problems and the feds (even assuming it should dole out the money) has no inclination to solve the healthcare crisis. The Herald's editorial:

"Take Ottawa's 10-year, $41-billion health care deal reached with the provinces last fall. The federal government promised $18 billion of that over the first six years. Nova Scotia's share last fall was about $62 million, $15 million of which was earmarked for medical equipment this year. Of that, the Capital district health authority got about $5.6 million. But this week, the Capital district's CEO, Don Ford, told the province's public accounts committee that the authority needed about $150 million to replace aging equipment, repair buildings and improve information technology. That's quite a gap.

Some of that, as Education Minister Jamie Muir argued, is a matter of available funding being short of the district's 'wants.' But there's no doubt that Capital health simply does not have the resources to address what are real and pressing needs, problems that are having a measurable impact on health care delivery.

What's needed, badly, is serious structural reform, including looking to the private sector - as many European countries do - to fill some health care gaps. Unfortunately, federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh continues to do his best to make any uttering of the words 'private delivery of health care' a 'crisis'."

A cynic must see the Liberals talking up the issue and not doing anything about it as a party that wants the issue more than it wants solutions. As long as healthcare "needs" more public money to operate half-decently in the future, the government can scare Canadians with visions of Conservatives bringing in a healthcare system in which only the wealthy can get vital operations, etc. What our healthcare system needs is not a defense of it as a Canadian value using the tired cliches of the Liberal government but innovation, choice and private money.

Posted by Paul Tuns on May 28, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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At the hospital where I work, people can pay to get an MRI of their dog. I guess the theory is that if the dog had to wait because of rationing as long as people do, its natural lifespan might be insufficient.

Posted by: surly | 2005-05-29 3:27:44 AM

Let's be frank. Canada does not have a public healthcare system - it has a public health care RATIONING system. This despite polls incessantly showing 60 to 70% in favor of a mixed private and public system. The inability to reform a system that benefits only the grossly overpaid and inflated beaurocracy / administrators and public healthcare unions is a product of the mainstream press and politicians' collective refusal to do anything other than mouth demonstrably false and harmful NDP - Liberal platitudes on public healthcare being the only fair option. The only option, unless you're a millionaire, well-connected politician or live in Quebec whose parallel private system is curiously ignored, is to suffer and die at the hands of this absurd system (I need not cite evidence for such, its apparent to all who are even modestly informed that Canada's healthcare system costs lives, or more precisely, provides poor quality and limited access to healthcare where a private system would provide high quality and greater access to it, thus Canada has a rationing system).

Yet more evidence Canada is a predmominantly a nation of morons ruled by gang of malevolent brigands. Your politicians do not act in your interest.

As an ex-Canadian, its amazing to watch the precipitous decline in Canada's international stature, institutions and quality of life (coming next - central Canada's economic collapse as true separatism rises in the west). You won't see its full dimensions until you spend some time outside Canada in a society where the government is not corrupt and the citizenry is engaged in determining their future (ie there is an informed public debate on issues, not uniform platitude recital that passes for public engagement in Canada).

Well enjoy it, you've earned it (unless you're one of those few intelligent Canadians who are opposed to corruption and idiotic government, then you've got my deepest sympathy - for you Canada appears the hell it is). Take heart - there are better places to live (try the USA, New Zealand, Australia). Life is so much better ex-Canada. Look into it, it will be the best move you ever make. Why live amongst the sheep?

Posted by: SEchappe | 2005-05-29 9:48:41 AM

The medicine industries in Canada suffer from the self-serving assumption that every one can climb into the Captain's tower and have a government-fed career where cost is just an insult to the righteous dignity of the priestly. That accounts for the non-accounting among the 'wage earners' in the business.

As for the consumers in this perennnial transaction, they suffer because of the unalterable axiom of economics: the demand for a free good expands infinitely.

The absurdity of both is found in the nonsensical belief that anything other than the principles of the bazaar apply to these transactions.

Posted by: Barry Stagg | 2005-05-29 9:21:21 PM

There are no gaps in the public health system, which can be closed by only a little bit of private delivery. There is a gaping hole in the pocketbook of Canadians which no amount of private health clinics can solve, as long as we continue to be taxed into the poorhouse in order to pay for the waste and the corruption that begins in Ottawa, and ends in the bacteria-laden general hospitals in our cities. The crisis in the public health system IS the public health system.

The provision of housing, food and clothing is just as important as medical care to one's survival. No it's even more important. You might live to be 100 without ever visiting a doctor, but you won't live more than a week in Canada without a house, a snowsuit, and a ham sammich every now and again. And all of these vital, life-saving products and services are made available to rich and poor, young and old, through an invention so simple and so effective that it is unequaled in human history. This wonderful invention is known in the English language as The Free Market. In those rare situations where you find someone lacking in those three vital things, you invariable find a malevolent hand sabotaging the wonderful invention, and causing hardship, famine and despair - while at the same time crying the most extravagant crocodile tears, and pleading that they can "get it right", as long as you continue to pay - and pay - and pay. Because they care. Or so they say.

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2005-05-29 9:51:35 PM

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