What's Wrong with Healthcare?

Thinking inside and outside of the healthcare box. After 41 years of family practice, what's happened to Canada's healthcare system?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Outsourcing, Our Health Care Solution.

Man, I hate when I misjudge a situation. For years I have been opposed to our health care system taking on a “business” approach to health care, I have criticized the over emphasis of cost effectiveness, and of late I have even doubted the effectiveness of guaranteed wait times (I’ve never been sure whether a patient would be MADE to wait the guaranteed time or-------). In any case it occurred to me the other day, that, when the governments had decided to morph our health care system into a “Business Model”, they were thinking big and I was thinking small. I admit that I did not see all the possibilities. I couldn’t understand how sending someone somewhere else (of course I was thinking of the U.S.A.) if their wait time was too long, would save the system money (a system that already is thought to be financially unsustainable). But then I thought: But why think U.S. A.?” Let’s look at OUTSOURCING as a solution---PERIOD!!! That’s what big business is doing. I’d venture to say that surgery in Canada that costs $30,000.oo could be done in India for half that amount, and maybe even cheaper in Cuba! (Probably less than a thousand dollars if we were to use the same facilities the locals in Cuba use, and not those for the tourists). And Cuba has a Universal Government System just like ours. I’ve heard tourist comment on what good care they got in Cuba when they were tourists and got ill. People may even be prepared to pay their own airfare and have a bit of a vacation at the same time!
We have a shortage of family doctors----- so what? Most health problems can be diagnosed by the history alone. Medical help lines could be established with Cuban doctors (there are lots of them because education is free) and they would give advice as to how to deal with our problems. The Alberta government could work a deal with the Cuban government and send a few barrels of oil down there in exchange.
Americans have shown us how to deal with the increasing cost of pharmaceuticals. They come up to Canada to buy their medications because they are cheaper here than in the U.S. Here is a news flash. On my last visit to Mexico there were drug stores on every street corner and their prices are about one half of ours here. We could outsource our drug coverage to a large Mexican drug store chain or perhaps to the Cuban government.
It certainly would be cost effective to send all our chronically ill patients to Cuba. They may actually get better. It seemed to have worked for leprosy! Why not give it a try? So what are a few more barrels of oil?
And what about people in their last two years of life? Apparently this takes up a huge slice of our health care pie. Who wouldn’t want to spend their last days on a tropical island? Lets have all our long term care facilities built in Cuba!
I guess I truly have been an idiot and not seen the big picture. Guaranteed wait times and OUTSOURCING; the next big innovative idea that has come of age in our Canadian Health Care System. I can hardly wait.
And now I'm off on a holiday. I think I really need it.


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20/1/07 2:38 AM  

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