Monday, September 28, 2009

The Real Health Care Question

Okay, I've spent some time in the past documenting how much better and cheaper Canada's health care system is than the US system. But that's not the real question.

The real question is: Why is Canada's health care system worse than many developed countries other than the US? Compared to the US, we look great; compared to the OECD average, not so much. Canada's per capita health care costs are higher than many OECD countries. Compared to countries that provide universal health care, we fall behind on many indicators of heath care quality.

Instead of worrying about the mess in the US, we should be solidly focused on looking east and west for ideas about how to improve health care. In an ideal world of continuous excellence, we would be having a public discourse (in newspaper articles, phone-in shows, debates with friends, the legislature) about all the ways we can improve. Sure, Harper is not interested in improving health care - he wants it to fail so he can privatize it - but health care is provincial, and our provincial governments are in many cases more enlightened than our current federal government.
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11 comments:

austin said...

Having private along side our public health care if done properly could be very beneficial. Offering some pay hospitals to the rich would get them out of our lines and we could have any profits go back in to the public system. Thats much better then them going to the U.S. and putting thier money into the American economy.

Kerry Forrest said...

This report for the Frasier Institute is very in depth in the comparison OECD health systems to ours. The data alone makes it worth the read. http://www.fraserinstitute.org/researchandpublications/publications/6925.aspx

Yappa said...

Hi Austin -

We already have a private health care option: the US. Providing a private option in Canada would just provide a taxpayer-subsidized private option. It's a very dangerous slippery slope: soon we would have two-tier care. No thank you.

Yappa said...

Hi Kerry,

I couldn't find that report based on the partial link that appears. Could you send the entire link? You can put in a carriage return so the whole thing appears; or use the standard HTML tag for URLS: left angle bracket, a, href=", URL, quote, right angle bracket, TEXT, left angle bracket, /a, right angle bracket.

austin said...

I don't think it's fair to say a private option would be taxpayer-subsidized. Put a price on something like an MRI that brings in profit and people will either pay it or wait a year in the public line. But yes there will be risks trying to start the private option but in my opinion goverment monopolization is as much a bane as private monopolization in any sector.

Kerry Forrest said...

I'm trying it again
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/researchandpublications/publications/6925.aspx

Goto Reports/Publications on www.fraserinstitute.org, then click on books. Should be the first selection, called 'Canadian Health Policy Failures: What’s wrong? Who gets hurt? Why nothing changes'
The PDF is free to download.

The comment box won't accept the tag you gave me

Yappa said...

Thanks Kerry!

This is the link:
Canadian Health Policy Failures.

Yappa said...

btw, I see that that report seems to be arguing for two-tier health care. I will try to keep an open mind as I read it...

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, The Frasier Institute. Fox News is a better place to get information on Canadian Healthcare. I'm not suggesting they'll say anything to promote their ideology but I don't know how else to finish this post.

Kerry Forrest said...

Their main focus might be looking at that as a solution, but it does give a good look at the current situation using facts and figures and comparison.

Don't expect it to change your mind, but give you a good basis to seek solutions you do support.

The biggest issue I see is debate on health care tends to degenerate into emotions and feelings, the sacred cow syndrome, when real debate is obviously needed for any real address to its issues.

Realtor from Toronto said...

Recently, I've read an article about a survey of the 16 developed country's health care systems. Canada placed 10th with a final grade 'B', just for laughs, the US placed dead last 16th. But 10th place for Canada is not that bad, most of the countries that scored higher than Canada are European and of course Japan in the first place. I too see things wrong with our system and things that could get better but if we look at health care in other countries around the world, it doesn't seem bad at all. If anyones interested in that article, here is is:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090928/hl_nm/us_canada_health

Thanks and take care, Elli