Canada’s health care is in­ad­e­quate

Toronto Star - - WORLD -

Re If we don’t fix medi­care, we may lose it, Ed­i­to­rial, June 16 Ku­dos to the Star’s Ed­i­to­rial Board for point­ing out what ev­ery pro­vin­cial politi­cian and health ad­min­is­tra­tor has been say­ing for decades: Ottawa can’t ex­pect the Canada Health Act to re­main vi­able if the feds won’t foot their end of the bill.

What raised my eye­brow, though, was the “choice” we might face of “ac­cept­ing in­ad­e­quate care for all.”

For all but the wealth­i­est, we have long since ac­cepted in­ad­e­quate care in Canada. Most hos­pi­tals run at or above ca­pac­ity at all times, wait lists for home care and long-term care are atro­cious, and the most dis­ad­van­taged Cana­di­ans are with­out ba­sic util­i­ties, never mind cut­ting-edge medicine.

In busi­ness, there’s the old adage of “Good, cheap or on time — you can have two.” In health care, we’re try­ing to have com­pre­hen­sive, timely, ac­ces­si­ble ev­ery­where and at all times, eq­ui­table, pa­tient-cen­tred, ev­i­dence-based, sus­tain­able and ac­count­able.

Even if such a sys­tem were log­i­cally pos­si­ble, it can’t be built atop an ob­so­lete in­sur­ance plan that was never de­signed to be all things to all peo­ple. And it surely won’t emerge by magic from gov­ern­ment mi­cro­man­age­ment or ju­ris­dic­tional squab­bling. Dr. Franklin Warsh, Lon­don, Ont. The big­gest prob­lem is our medi­care is not run ef­fi­ciently. The aim should be: How can we get this pa­tient well as soon as pos­si­ble, even if we have to spend more money, be­cause it will save us money in the long run. Cut­ting doc­tors and nurses is not the way to go, nor are over­crowded emer­gency rooms. Health care should be run by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, not the prov­inces, so the same care is avail­able across Canada. And yes, we should try to learn from other na­tions that are more suc­cess­ful at this, like a lot of Euro­pean coun­tries.

If they are so pet­ri­fied about the cost, then let us pay some­thing like an ad­di­tional health in­sur­ance, ac­cord­ing to our in­come. I don’t think Cana­di­ans would be op­posed to this if the out­come would be health care we can rely on. El­iz­a­beth Crhak, Eto­bi­coke


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