Thursday, June 11, 2009

Health Priorities

The Globe and Mail Health columnist Andre Picard has a good piece today about the amalgamation of Alberta's regional health boards. The money quotes:

Alberta has, in the past decade or so, created the best, most innovative health system in Canada. Regionalization allowed health authorities to shape services to local needs, created better continuity of care, made the health system more responsive, improved public health and led to strong alliances between university researchers and health regions.

But regionalization also created powerful, independent health leaders like Sheila Weatherill of Edmonton and Jack Davis of Calgary, who used their influence to push for massive infrastructure investment, new research funding and ever-larger health budgets.

Slightly more than a year ago, Premier Ed Stelmach blew up the structure and replaced the regional health authorities with a single "superboard" to oversee all health-care services in the province.

The move was motivated principally by petty politics. Mr. Davis and Ms. Weatherill had become so powerful that they were perceived as threats, not to mention that their politics did not align perfectly with those of Mr. Stelmach's rural conservatism.

I said pretty much exactly the same thing back in March here.

If (when?) this ill-considered politicized health board centralization decision blows up and makes a bigger mess out of medicine in Alberta than it already has, be ready for the usual suspects to try to pin the blame on the essential characteristics of the public universal model rather than the policies of this conservative government. Vandalizing the system and then blaming the system itself for any negative results is part of the standard right wing model for healthcare.


Good Health Blog said...

I read your post and I like it, because it has many good health tips. said...

The concept in Canada should be tried in the U.S.

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