Globe and Mail & CBC-Canadian Healthcare and Economics

This link is worth taking a look at. We may not want to think about economics, but as healthcare is a huge topic of discussion here in Canada, we need to.

The health sector, public and private (and let’s not forget we have plenty of both), is an economic driver, a generator of wealth, a source of good-paying jobs and a stabilizer in times of economic upheaval.

Of course, none of this suggests we cannot deliver health care more efficiently and cost effectively. On the contrary. We shouldn’t advocate spending for the sake of spending.

The issues should focus on how to improve Canadian healthcare, how to streamline the process, offer better services and care, reduce wait lists, increase access to clinics in the evenings, weekends and holidays to reduce or redirect non-emergency cases from the ER. With this discussion comes the financial aspect-how much will it cost individual provinces/territories, the federal government, individuals with regards to taxes, paying out-of-pocket or user fees. What are the most efficient ways to improve the system without it costing a fortune while at the same time improving the patient experience?

Why is it that Canadians cannot find or do not have access to a family doctor or general physician? How is it that doctors are unemployed or cannot find work? More than four million Canadians can’t find a family doctor. That’s more than one in every ten people in the country. And yet, Canadian medical schools are turning out more physicians than ever before … and a growing number of those doctors can’t find jobs.

This does not make sense and requires change. Canadians pay for their socialized medicine through tax dollars, high taxes on all merchandise and on their individual income tax returns, so every Canadian should have access to needed medical attention without having to wait hours at a clinic to be seen or days/weeks to access their own GP.

Victoria Brewster, MSW