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?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Calgary City Council Solves Healthcare Crises

Recently Calgary City Council passed a by-law that pertained to the behavior of its citizens; then, they quickly demonstrated that they meant business by fining a homeless person $100 for spiting in a garbage can. Now, from my perspective, he should have been given a medal. If everyone in Calgary spit and discarded what they didn’t want in a garbage can, Calgary would be an example for the “World Model City ( The Calgary Flames games should rake in tens of thousands of dollars each game!).
Now, I’m not saying I approve of spitting in public, or cursing, or putting your feet on park benches, etc, but how did they come up with fining behavior anyway? Just in the past year the fines for traffic violations increased two or three fold. I thought punishment didn’t work. That’s what we are always told about car theft, vandalizing, assault, and even murder. Perhaps it is only when the behavior punishment has a “cost” component, does punishment work. If that be the case, Calgary city hall has just solved the health care crises in Alberta.
If they were responsible for healthcare, I’m quite sure they would put in the following:
1) Fine each person $500.oo per year per point that their BMI exceeds 30.
2) Fine each person $100.oo per year per point that their blood pressure is over the recommended level.
3) Fine each person $10.oo per 1% that their cholesterol levels are over the optimum level
4) Fine each person $500.oo per year who doesn’t have a membership in an exercise club, with corroborating signature of attendance and “clock punching” evidence of time spent.
5) Fine physicians $100.oo dollars per patient that do not reach the above goals.
6) Increase taxes on cigarettes (or add a fine for smoking).
7) Ration junk food (as butter and some foods were rationed during WWII) and fine anyone going over their ration.
8) Tax all foods that are deemed to be “unhealthy” (in addition to the GST).
Some of you, I’m sure, are being critical of these suggestions; but think about it. The city is fining people for behaviors that they (someone) deems offensive, but is any true harm being done? The traffic “fines” are for the peoples’ and public good, to protect from injury and so on. I assure you, healthy life styles and compliance with recognized treatments would decrease morbidity and mortality from strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, and save the system hundreds of millions of dollars in healthcare costs. Furthermore, if we consider the average life style of Canadians, there would be hundreds of millions of dollars derived from these fines. Not only would there be enough money to fund healthcare, but enough left over for education, infrastructure, welfare, and a host of other worthy causes. Control with fines; yes, even homeless people. After all we don’t uphold the law based on a persons address!
The world has gone mad!


Blogger Lanny said...

Here Here! or is it: Hear Hear!

13/12/06 10:14 PM  
Blogger michie said...

What's funny is that for comedy, anything that is deemed under someone's control is fair game, anything out of their control is considered uncooth and offensive.

Nowadays there is enough research on lifestyle and effective pharmaceuticals available, that many of these factors ARE under people's control. Uh, but then there's the grey area of what can be defined as "control" (i.e. addictions etc.)

... Hmmm. This could get complicated, the concept is great though!

Perhaps the government could also subsidize medications and healthy foods as well, to enable the ones who are really trying...

Ah, who are we kidding.

14/12/06 2:20 PM  

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