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, February 20, 2008

Quebec, Our Healthcare Saviour

Wow, healthcare in Calgary, Alberta, has made the headlines of the Calgary Herald two days in a row. Today it reported that the system was stretched to the limit and that patients were waiting in the emergency department for as long as twenty four hours for an admission bed. I thought there was some kind of rule in place specifying (mandating) a much shorter time, I guess somebody found out that when the beds are full, and the hallways and sunrooms are full, they stack up in the emergency department and the rule can go to -----. Come to think of it, the article does say that 17 patients were in hallways waiting to be seen by physicians while paramedics “medi-sat” them. Keep in mind, the city budget pays for the paramedics.
It would seem that once more the Calgary region is short of money, 115 million dollars, to be exact (er---sort of exact). In the same paper the Region blames the province, the province blames the Region, and they all blame the increasing population (the patients), and nowhere in the newspaper or on the campaign trail are solutions being offered. Some MLAs are lashing out with accusations that the Royalty increases have killed the economy, while also in section “A” of the same addition a headline reads “Alberta’s 4.2 billion dollar budget surplus larger than expected”. The health Minister, the Honorable Mr. Hancock states firmly that he will not recommend covering the shortfall because it may encourage the Health Region to spend more money, but assures those of us that are gullible that patients will be cared for (even if he has to do it himself????).
Finally, national columnist Don Martin offers some hope on page 10. He points out that Quebec is moving towards solutions that are a threat to Medicare by virtue of a report released by Liberal Cabinet Minister Claude Castonguay. He points out that for political reasons the feds will stay quiet on the issue and if enacted, the report will “turn Quebec into an unfettered health delivery revolutionary” (personally I love the “unfettered” part of the statement). He goes on to say that if that happens, no other province will accept federal consequences or penalties for becoming a rogue state of privatized health care. He then sort of summarizes and buys into the stupidity of the last twenty years with the statement “The Canada Health Act will be dead----and two tiered healthcare very much alive.
The Canada Health Act will never be dead, Mr. Don Martin; it needs to change and will change, but die it certainly will not. As for the “Two Tier Boogy Man”, anyone who has the barest knowledge of our present day Healthcare System is fully cognizant of the fact that it already has many tiers. I say Viva La Quebec!!!

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