A NewsKamloops editorial by Claude Richmond.
HERE WE ARE once again at the old private vs public health care argument, with the same tired responses. Dr. Brian Day makes the cogent argument that if people cannot get timely health care from the public system, they should be able to buy it from the private sector. Of course that is possible now, but you have to go outside of our country to do so.
Then, just as predictably, we hear the argument from the other side that if you allow private health care it will take valuable resources from the public system, thereby increasing the wait times. And the other tired argument that we will be just like the Americans.
What nonsense. If you were going to emulate any system why would you choose the American one; it's one of the worst in the world — the 37th worst to be exact. (To be entirely fair, the Americans have superb health care, just a really a lousy delivery system.)
Why would you not look to a system that is considered one of the best, if not the best in the world? There are several public/private systems in Europe that work very well, the French probably the best.
Case in point: the wife of a friend of mine was taken seriously ill while in Paris. Her husband called the hotel desk and within 15 minutes a doctor was in her room. Can you imagine that ever happening in Canada or the U.S.A.? Another case; a man in Kamloops required a hip replacement, he was in constant pain. He was told it would be at least a year before he could have the surgery. He went to Europe and had his hip replaced in two weeks.
Too those who think we have a fair one-tier system here in Canada, think again. There are several examples of those who go to the front of the cue all the time — police, fire, prisoners, professional athletes, doctors, etc. As well, our health ministry contracts with the private sector all the time for surgeries like hip and knee replacements, cataracts, etc.
When we have to wait 10 months to see a specialist, then wait another year to actually receive the procedure, our system is broken. It is time that we looked to improving it, so why not look in places where the public/private system is working?
If our health care system is not providing the necessary care to Canadians in a timely manner, as it should, then I agree with Dr. Day. We should be able to go to the private sector. If we can spend our money outside of our country, why can't we spend it here?
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Allan Dubbs says:
September 14, 2016 01:11pm
September 13, 2016 01:57pm
September 14, 2016 07:40pm
Get the corporations, money launderers, tax evaders, and banksters to start paying their fair share of taxes and fines into the Canadian society they are exploiting, polluting, and corrupting; and put that money into the public health care system.
Yes, we have a right to timely care, which the corporate controlled provincial and federal governments are denying Canadian citizens through their failures to responsibly govern and enforce the laws. Canadians want a fair system. The governments' neglect of the health care system is designed to enable the likes of Dr. Day to appeal to an increasingly frustrated population.
If you're so keen on keeping the health dollars in BC, why don't you work at telling the government to also keep a greater share of BC resource wealth and BC jobs in BC, instead of selling out the province to questionable foreign interests, corporations and their temporary foreign workforces? The problem within the healthcare system is a symptom of right wing neoliberal policy, which is clearly failing Canadians. They're turning us into refugees in our own country, where we now have to flee the cities of our province to find affordable housing as well as timely health care. It's absurd to suggest to Canadians that another privatization "solution" will remedy Canada's healthcare system.
Grouchy 1 says:
September 14, 2016 08:37am
September 13, 2016 01:23pm
I know people who had their close family members and friends die because they could not see specialists in time.
It is so sad to see how things work and how people suffer.
It is not about the rich getting better care! we never should look at that as the outcome.
I am originally from Europe, emigrated 25 years ago and I go back sometimes. Germany has one of the best systems in my opinion; there are no wait times, you don't pay more then maybe 5% for cost share and you have a choice which specialist you want to see. Hospitals are clean and modern, stuff very nice and emergency takes a minute or two; how it should as this is the EMERGENCY
Poland where I am from went through many changes a very different country when I was leaving in 1987
I went back with my husband a year ago for a visit; he had a knee issue here in Canada for over 6 months or so. He did see a few doctors who told him to go to physiotherapy, to stretch and excersize and that should help. He insisted to at least go for ultrasound or X-ray but was refused.
While in Poland his knee gave up; we rushed to the emergency where it took 20 or maybe 30 minutes to see the doctor and do couple of tests and the outcome was surgery as the meniscus was damaged .
The surgery was performed within 10 days (and it took that long only because we wanted to research the specialists that would perform the surgery and choosing the best one). He ended up needing some part transplanted as well as the injury got worse since it was not dealt with right away. The cost for all that and the surgery was about $2,500
Average people in Poland are not rich people and healthcare covers it all for everybody as well but there is that option to choose an excellent doctor with great experience and a doctor you can trust. Those visits are very inexpensive and if you would only go to get a second opinion that is an option that I would like to have. Going to a couple of specialists in Canada myself I was very disappointed that it took only 2-3 minutes and the doctor was done with me, no special tests or follow ups just charging the healthcare for as many patients they possibly can handle each day.
I came to Canada 25 years ago to live in a free country but this is no freedom if you are not allowed to have choices that ultimately are the most important choices in your life; choice of an excellent doctor, choice to do it right away and choice of healthy life because at the end what counts if you don't have your health!?
It is about time to change this horrible system that does not work and it is only getting worse in my opinion. Be optimistic! Embrace the idea of growing and evolving:)
September 12, 2016 09:45pm
Grouchy 1 says:
September 13, 2016 10:06pm
James Graff says:
September 12, 2016 09:17am
Secondly, as the population will continue to age into the late years of the elderly the only (new) common resource for this medical dilemma of rising costs will be: the use of assisting death in chronic conditions to offset longer term costs in bed keep, etc.
Hence, we have gone completely from a compassionate society -because too many people abuse the medical system driving up costs- to a totally rational system, allaying health care to a middle-class whom support the economic capitalization of the economy, per se.
September 12, 2016 09:14am
Grouchy 1 says:
September 12, 2016 08:55am
Sean McGuinness says:
September 12, 2016 07:38am
How many people can afford to pay for hip replacement out of their own pocket? In the U.S., the average cost of a hip replacement is about $30,000 (according to Blue Cross Blue Shield). If some European countries have better healthcare which Mr. Richmond states without proof, then it is because they are more committed to universal health.