• Patients whose emergency surgeries are delayed have higher risk of dying, Canadian study shows

    The most common causes for delay were that operating rooms were already in use or surgeons, anesthetists or surgical nursing staff were not available… In January 2013, the hospital began using a new method for scheduling such operations, including dedicating OR time specifically for emergency procedures and spreading elective surgeries more evenly throughout the week… “There was a massive improvement in patients getting to emergency surgeries on time…

  • Is the federal government a champion of reconciliation or of discrimination?

    The effect of long delays in urgent service approvals and service denials are too often the same — the tragic loss of children’s lives… it is a good time to remember that citizenship is not about having blind faith in the government in the face of such clear and compelling evidence of wrongdoing; it is about loving the values that define the country enough to stand up for them.

  • Better pay for doctors won’t cure what ails the system

    … the idea that physician pay — not just the agreed fee, but the frequency of billings — should be uncontrolled, ungoverned, and unaccounted for by anyone other than doctors is unsustainable. And it is at the centre of the ongoing dispute between the government and the OMA, and within the OMA itself… A fee for service system that rewards patient volumes over patient vitals is dumb and dated. More than merely gatekeepers, doctors must be partners

  • If we don’t fix medicare, we may lose it

    … the Ontario Health Coalition is the latest to sound the alarm. It found that at least 88 private health clinics in six provinces regularly charge patients hundreds or thousands of dollars for needed diagnoses, tests or surgeries. In some cases, doctors levy user fees and bill the public system, charging twice for the same service… Such exploitative extra charges are prohibited by the Canada Health Act, yet these clinics operate with impunity.

  • Health care: What should we be paying for?

    … the evidence has found that allowing private payment does indeed make the publicly available care worse. More promising approaches to improving wait times include both making sure the necessary resources are in place, and learning from engineers and improving queue management, including encouraging single points of entry… if we are going to invest more money, place it where we can improve peoples’ health

  • Stop turning a blind eye to double-dipping docs

    Why aren’t the 12 medical associations that regulate doctors in the provinces and territories reining in this exploitative behaviour? And what about the people who are ultimately responsible for the health care system: the governments of the provinces and territories. Why aren’t they doing anything about it? … Ottawa and the provinces should at least regulate the fees charged by private clinics.

  • Health-care system a free-for-all for double-dipping doctors

    There is no question that waits for surgery are too long… due to an array of engineering and administrative shortcomings. The solution to these problems is to fix the public system, to make it more efficient… in countries that deliver care efficiently and cost-effectively, publicly funded care is administered well, and privately funded care is regulated well.

  • Some doctors are charging both government and patients privately in illegal double-dipping practice

    Even in Ontario, long considered tough on extra-billing, and where the government investigated 314 complaints in the last five years, none of the doctors involved was sanctioned. More than one-third were made to refund their patients, but were then able to bill the province for those treatments… “I think it’s an abdication of the responsibility of government,” says Dr. Etches, of Doctors for Medicare. “The private clinics are now deeply entrenched in the health-care system … and that lies at the feet of the politicians.”

  • We need better value for our health care dollars

    In Mississauga, Trillium Health Partners and Saint Elizabeth home care have agreed to be paid jointly by the province based on how well cardiac patients do after leaving hospital… Patients are being discharged sooner and post-op readmissions to hospital and emergency department visits are down… Canada needs a national outcomes measurement and health funding strategy, in partnership with the provinces and territories, with a substantial commitment to test new approaches and adopt those that work.

  • Better health care means fixing bureaucratic failings

    The body (or bodies) that oversee health delivery… should operate independently, at arm’s length from the government… The role of elected officials is to set broad objectives and benchmarks; then they should get out of the way and let the system be managed by professional managers… [inn which there is] an element of regional autonomy… patients have a strong voice… measurement… continuous improvement and scaling up successful innovations.