Monday, May 02, 2005

Get Well (I think Not)

Health care has become one of those subjects one cannot really discuss in Canada since: (a) people defend the Canada Health Act before you can discuss its shortcomings - it has actually more power than the bible here; (b) people are ignorant of what is actually happening in health care; (c) people cant imagine what demographics will do for health care; (d) people think its basically a money problem - spend more and all will be well, wheras in fact we are spending as a Government far too much already; (e) there is an ignorant rejection of the private sector, especially amongst doctors most of whom are in the private sector - they just dont want others to benefit in the same way that they do; and (f) its seen as about hospitals and doctors rather than about health.

Our Province (Alberta) is seeking to find the "third way" - between wholly public and largely private. They are looking to the UK for answers. There, as Jeffrey Simpson in the Globe and Mail pointed out, the public system (the third largest employer in the world) buys private services to meet needs and achieve outcomes. Since the service is outcome focused (one of which is value for money), its been concluded that private care is value for money when the trade off is time.

We cant have this conversation here. The patient (Government) is deaf, blind, disabled by ideology and suffering from a blockage of the imagination. They also lack courage.

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