Friday, July 17, 2009

The real solution to wait times

Private Medicine supporting outgoing CMA President Robert Ouellet deceives on wait times. British wait times that is:

The Canadian Medical Association will be presenting some new ideas on cost-effective health care operations at its annual meeting this fall.

Canada ranked 23rd in a study that compared it with 29 European countries in terms of health-care value for money spent.

Ouellet said what's needed in the long term is to make the kind of changes that have worked in Europe and elsewhere.

Six years ago, England had the same lengthy wait times that many provinces are currently dealing with, but found a solution with a new financing model and incentives for hospitals to treat patients faster, he said.

Yes those policies contributed slightly, but the major single step that had the most effect on all but eliminating wait times in the UK was a major expansion of government funding on long term care creating thousands of new beds, and moving thousands of people out of long stays in hospitals.

And Ouellet knows this, he knows that it was a major expansion of public funding on the public system that fixed wait times in Britain, but is trying to slip in that contention that it was vague new 'financing models' or market friendly financial incentives unchallenged.

Sometimes, the solution really is throwing money at the problem.

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