Tuesday, March 23, 2010

And Our Own House?

On the day that President Obama will sign into law the new Health Care document in Washington, it might serve us well to look at our own problems.

Health-care spending in Canada now typically consumes more than 40 per cent of provincial budgets, and will account for half of all spending within a few years. Left unchecked, health care will eat up three-quarters of every dollar spent by a province 25 years from now.
Sixty-two per cent of seniors in six provinces are taking five or more prescription drugs each day.

Guilty as charged.

C├ęst moi.

So what are we to do?

We have a system that is bloated, costly and often unequally delivered from district to region.

In most ways, it is magnificent and it works.

But it is clearly bursting at the seams.

Take a look at the SURVEY in the right hand column and give me your cogent thoughts, please.


underemployed guy said...

Here are a few ideas that don't easily fit into your questionnaire:

a) create more employment (and more taxes!);
b) reduce waste;
c) improve self-care and preventative programs (return sports funding);
d) license more foreign-trained specialists;
e) heavy fines for corporations that have large numbers of health-care claims;
f) cap doctors' billings and set minimum service levels;
g) a wage freeze for top-tier union employees (as part of a pay equity program);
h) bring back reference-based drug pricing;
i) place new doctors (& nurses & technicians?) in rural or northern communities for their first five years of service;
j) higher taxes on cigarettes, booze & gambling;
k) re-introduce the precautionary principle in genetic/pharmaceutical research (this causes greater problems than most people realize);
l) 100% user pay for purely cosmetic surgeries;
m) legalize and tax marijuana;
n) more peer-support for mental health patients;
o) develop humane euthanasia policies (that's a toughie!);
p) freeze tuition fees for "the healing professions";
q) allow people to pay (lots!) to jump waiting lists (including foreigners, who pay double lots);
r) huge crippling fines for any industrial toxic waste in the environment;
s) stricter enforcement of existing environmental laws;
t) free dental care for children;
u) government dental insurance for adults;
v) stop over-prescribing drugs;
w) make the Canadian Food Inspection agency answerable to the public, not industry;
x) promote volunteerism;
y) promote civil discourse;
z) and do something nice every day.

Grant G said...

Sorry David,you are wrong on this one, as a percentage of GDP health spending in BC has barely escalated in a decade,it`s corporate tax collection that has fallen off a cliff.

Secondly, Seniors and baby boomers move through the system and a younger crowd is on the other side.

Look at India, there are 500 million children in India,in a decade those children will all have kids,eventually a tsunami of 2 billion Indians will become old,the claim of more people to support a large old populous will always rear it`s head.

Thirdly David, Coke cola/pepsi/McDonalds/and chemical toxins are making people sick..

A massive spike in diabetes,breast cancer..Caused mainly from unhealthy food and inactivety and toxins.

The harm from diesel and petroleam industry causing asthma and other difficulties,they aren`t paying their fair share of health costs.

Ban transfat,bring back PE classes in school,a fat lazy syrup sucking generation.

Lastly,corporate taxes have never been lower in Canada,taxes from people go up and up through direct and indirect taxes...Yet look at the HST...

2 billion dollar tax shift going to Teck comenco/Ecana gas/companies that made billions during the recession.

Sorry David, looks like you have been Falconized without looking at historical data....

Healthcare works in Japan/Korea/Germany/Denmark/

Although,500.000.00$ dollar administrators and ehealth scandals don`t help.

A little research next time David...Please!

David Berner said...

Grant G,

There is nothing you have said with which I disagree.

In what way have I been "wrong?"

I suggested that we have a systen that needs attention.

I asked for your thoughts not a personal attack.

More and more, people seem incapable of saying with honor and respect, "I disagree."

Instead you have to name call.

Please get past this - it is not debate or discussion.

Anonymous said...

underemployed guy - there are things on your list that I agree with, partially agree with and disagree with.

I'll just mention one illogical point though - the suggestion that new nurses/technicians and doctors must serve five years in a rural or northern site.

Nurses go to school from one year (LPN) to four years plus (RN). They pay their own tuition (some really good students get scholarships and bursaries).

Why wouldn't they work where they choose to. In the military - where the federal government (defence budget) pays their tuition and then a) expects them to maintain their gpa and b) expects them to serve a certain number of years as military nurse/technicians.

Civilian nurses and technicians (and doctors) are free to work where jobs are available and where they please (like any other civilian employee of any profession, trade or business). Unless the Provincial Governement wants to pay student nurses entire tuition and provide some extra money to live on while going to school - only then would it be okay to demand that he/she work in rural areas or other specific places.

Grant G said...

Mr.Berner...I do apoligize for saying you have been Falconized,yes indeed that is name calling....

You are a man of class and I agree with most of your views.

My point being is profitable companies that poison people need to pay,and also the money argument has been skewed,lets start with wealthy Canadians paying more money,for example, if your yearly wage is 10 times the average Canadian wage you pay 10 times the average,if your yearly wage is a hundred times the average wage you pay 100 times that of the average wage earner for health services.

Lets see how long people with money and influence let that proposal live!

Good day Mr. Berner

Leah said...

Excellent list UG!

Might I suggest another addition? Make Health Canada answerable to the public - not the Pharmaceutical Industry...and make ANY contributions by the industry, or any member of it illegal under severe penalty that must be applied if evidence of contribution of any kind is found.

Anonymous said...

some silly nonsense, if every person in BC were to pay a monthly fee to cover the health care budget, it would be $300, or $1200 for a family of four.
That would be comparable to American health insurance premiums.
If there were a sales tax to pay for the health budget, it would be 21.5 per cent.