Thursday, April 19, 2007

The debate isn't over, it just should be

Health care just as good, half as much as in U.S.,
report says Ex-CMAJ editors feature study in new web journal
James Gordon, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Canada's health system is as good or better than that of the United States and is delivered at half the cost, new research suggests.

So our system costs half as much per person, covers everybody, and has better outcomes then the American system which costs twice as much and leaves millions, including millions of children with no coverage at all.

That's the punchline. The joke is right-wing politicians, corporate shill PR firms with delusions of credibility putting on airs by calling themselves an 'institute' and the reliably neo-liberal echo chamber of the Canadian media earnestly telling us that we'd be better off with cash and carry healthcare, that privatization experiments are a step forward rather than back and that our current system is irredemably broken.

Are you laughing yet?


Adam said...

The study is thoroughly and fundamentally flawed and it is also very misleading because nobody is suggesting US style health care.

Have you read any papers about how we do compared to European private-public 2 tier systems? If our system were to be altered, it would end up looking more like those systems and not like the American totally private system.

Cliff said...

Except we're signatories to various trade deals including NAFTA that make any flirtation with privatization much more problematic and dangerous. Our system stays public only so far and so long as it remains public.

Canadians have a right to know that all these 'experiments' being suggested are actually irreversible changes.

The European examples don't really butress your case - In Sweden they tried it in one district - essentially one hospital. After trying it, they voted out the government that proposed it and froze or reversed all the private experiments.

In Britain two tier has been a grotesque and expensive failure - particularly in huge overruns in p3s.

In Australia they found that two-tir created 'a perverse incentive' for doctors to cherrypick easy lucrative casesfor their private practice and leave the expensive complicated ones to evergrowing lines in the public system.

Here in Canada the biggest spikes in healthcare costs have been in private sector componants of the system like drugs and extended care while the costs of the public componants have been stable.

It seems counter-intuitive at the very least to suggest the sollution is more private healthcare.

Alison said...

"Our system stays public only so far and so long as it remains public."

You can't stress this enough in my opinion.

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