Look abroad for health-care reform ideas
NationalPost.com – FullComment/Today’sLetters – Re: Politicians Should Scrub Up On Health Care, Tasha Kheiriddin, Aug. 25.
Aug 27, 2011. Paul Russell
Tasha Kheiriddin correctly identified several root causes to the current malaise in the health care system. In particular, I applaud her comments on our knee-jerk reaction to anything that even smells American in the current situation. Forget the Americans; their system isn’t like ours. Focus instead on the Australians, the British and the Dutch, who are willing to consider a variety of incentives that we in Canada are prepared to write off without the slightest consideration.
I would fault journalists, though, for failing to give enough coverage to the role that modelling the health care system can play in its improvement. What coverage has there been on the four critical queuing phenomena of occupancy, variability, pooling of resources and prioritization? Despite spending a bit less than $200-billion on health care in Canada in 2010, most administrators tasked with improving wait times are not familiar with these four concepts. To the best of my knowledge, we still graduate doctors without a single hour’s exposure to congestion issues. Yet doctors have to deal with it on a daily basis throughout their careers. Both of these situations have to change, and the media has a role in making it happen by starting to cover this issue.
Professor David Stanford, Statistical and Actuarial Sciences, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ont.
I agree with the National Post’s continuing theme that Canada’s health-care system is broken and that we should look to other Western countries that have adopted parallel private systems.
Health care in Canada is constitutionally a provincial matter. The power that the Canada Health Act has is to threaten provinces with reduced transfer payments if the provinces do not adopt a “one-payer” medical system.
I can purchase alcohol or tobacco at will and purchase insurance or pay privately for repairs to my dog or for dental surgery. Why can’t I purchase insurance or pay privately for surgery for one of my children when required?
The time for change is long overdue.
Marvin R.V. Storrow, Vancouver.
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