Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Wait times and The Fraser Institute

Wait times for healthcare have dropped dramatically, so dramatically that even the Fraser Institute has to admit it, albeit with sulky bad grace.

They don't want to talk about how wait times have been reduced through innovations within the public system or the underfunding and medical school enrollment suppression that created the wait times in the first place, and they still push for greater private sector involvement despite the extensive evidence showing it would increase wait times rather than reducing them (PDF).

The biggest laughs in their rather pissy press release come from the last paragraph:
The Fraser Institute is an independent research and educational organization with locations across North America and partnerships in more than 70 countries. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research.
So no government funding, but massive corporate funding now, that's a whole other kettle of fish. They solicited and took massive wads of cash from big tobacco, and then fought tooth and nail against anti-smoking legislation. Massive donations from Exxon help pay for a long history of global warming denial. They get huge contributions from the pharmaceutical and insurance industries and surprise surprise they oppose publicly run healthcare. Oh and a lot of money from this charmer.

This isn't the resume of a think tank, but that of a well paid PR firm acting on behalf of their paying clients.

UPDATE: Hey look, the more healthcare privatization in your area the longer you have to wait for care:
The health coalition also noticed that wait times appear higher in areas with the most privatization as health-care workers stretch their time between hospital and private clinic. For instance, Montreal is one of the hardest spots to get a family doctor, yet has quite a few private "boutique" clinics selling two-tier care for wealthy executives and companies, the report notes. The vast majority of people can't afford to pay the private clinics' prices so they wait longer to see a doctor.
"For-profit clinics siphon out scarce specialists' time and (schedule) medically unnecessary procedures," Mehra said.
Queue-jumpers who can afford to pay at private clinics do so, and that means people in the public system wait longer, she added. In Ontario and Manitoba, Mehra said, they found local hospitals have reduced MRI hours because technologists have gone to for-profit clinics.

1 comment:

JAMES said...

the Fraser Institute to my knowledge has never found anything good with public ownership of anything.

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