Attempting a Healthcare Solution Via Long Term Reform

This Thursday my beautiful little Granddaughter was taken by her parents to the local ER. I struggled with this for many reasons: I am a veteran of the Hospital system as a long time (103 days) patient during my personal medical tsunami of 2007, as well as a spouse of a Cancer patient who battled, recovered, and then lost her life after 6 years in our provincial system. I was worried that little Aubrey would lay in the purgatory of the ER rooms that I have grown accustomed to over the years. This, I felt, was a lot to take for a little girl.

As our population ages ,our wait times increase in hospitals, and addiction to opioids increase, we need to act quickly as a community, and not listen to hollow promises from politicians who promise to spend more, lower our deficit and cut our taxes. We all know this mantra. No party by themselves can solve this issue. Sadly there is no band-aid solution that any Politician can solve, although they will promise otherwise. Just throwing money at our Health care will not fix the problems and pressures. The Politicians are buying our votes as Politicians love to do, by telling us they will increase spending in our Health care
Rosealie Wyonch, a health policy expert at the C.D. Howe Institute echos my sentiment by adding that we can open more hospital beds in the short-term, but a long term reform is needed. Until we address many social issues and open our minds to privatization of some services, we will spend ourselves to a a Minus A credit rating as a Province. She said provincial funding may open more hospital beds in the short-term, but a long-term reform of the system is also needed,
WE need to think outside of the box and focus on decreasing patients’ dependency on hospitals and increasing community-based health care including home care, injection sites, drop in health care advise, diet counselling and mental health treatment facilities.
I have no issues with taxes, so this makes me a bit of an anomaly. It is wasteful spending that drives my Tinnitus out of control. As a Province we spent $58 Billion in health care last year. This is our largest expenditure. Education we spend less than half that ($27.7 billion)) Children and Social service we spent only $16.8 Billion! We need to look at spending more on social services if we hope to stop our peoples from getting sick.
If we focus on social issues like affordable housing in safe neighbourhoods to assist the homeless and street people in Durham region (and the rest of the province) then we can start moving forward as a community addressing mental health, old age issues, addiction,diet, junk food, super sized big gulps for our kids, homelessness, and all other diseases and issues that Consumer product companies and Pharmaceutical companies that introduced us to Opioids and other wonderful addictions, brings to our community. Why not give notice to Drug manufacturers that they will have to start funding for addiction counselling that their products instead of paying Physicians?
Ten of Canada’s largest drug companies voluntarily released information about how much money they give physicians, posting the disclosures to their websites few  Tuesdays ago. The participating companies were: AbbVie Corp, Amgen, Bristol-Myers, Eli Lilly Canada, Gillead Canada, GlaxoSmithKline, Hoffmann-La-Roche, Merck Canada Inc, Novartis, Purdue Canada. But the companies did not disclose specific names, nor did they list the reasons for the payments. Some companies disclosed data for three months, others chose six months, and four disclosed payments for one year.

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If we as a community and our doctors, nurses, counselors, therapists work on trying to stop people from getting ill in the first place, is cheaper and better!
Focusing more on public health and prevention of diseases and chronic illnesses is, in her words, a “win-win.” Keeping the population from getting sick is both cheaper for the government, and tied to better health comes for patients, said Deber, author of ‘Treating Health Care: How the Canadian System Works and How It Could Work Better.’
Others feel it’s time to reduce government involvement. Dr. Douglas Mark, interim president of DoctorsOntario, an advocacy group dissatisfied with the much-larger Ontario Medical Association, said the only way to improve Ontario’s “overburdened healthcare system” is by ending the province’s monopoly on medical care — in other words, opening the system up to competition from private sector health care providers.
From the Frazer Institute: “Our provincial health system’s financial predicament has three clearly identifiable economic causes: the provinces monopoly over funding for medical care, the politically planned allocation of medical goods and services, and the lack of consumer exposure to the cost of using health care.

Politically managed, 100 per cent redistributive financing produces unsustainable cost growth and rationed access. In other words, Ontarians payers are paying more and getting less.
“We deserve zero wait times and not a government bureaucrat or politician dictating what we have now,” Mark said.
Pageau, in contrast, said real change will come through a combination of government planning for the future, looking at the system as a whole, and collecting more data to help clinicians and the province understand the areas that need reform.
The bottom line, he said, is there’s no quick-fix to Ontario’s health care woes.

With an upcoming Ontario election we need to keep our Healthcare front and centre if we are to figure out some solutions as this Province deals with an aging population, and the threat of a populist politician that threatens to cut costs by cutting programs.

Namaste

David

 

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