Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Canadian Docs Take Lead: Healthcare Must Be Fixed

Story here.

Who better than the doctors themselves, rather than corrupt politicians, myopic bureaucrats, radical "progressive" activists/propagandists and arrogant, not-knowing-what-they're-talking-about, Big Media talking heads, to say what must be done to fix the healthcare system in Canada?

They've identified five areas requiring change:

Building a culture of patient-centred care: A patient-centred system is defined as one with “seamless access, with no financial barriers, to the continuing of care in a timely fashion, in a manner that takes into consideration the individual needs and preferences of patients and their families and treats them with respect and dignity.”

Incentives for enhancing access and improving quality of care: Measures proposed include patient-focused funding (funding hospitals based on the number of patients they treat instead of block funding) and pay-for-performance to reward institutions and health care providers for meeting targets.

Enhancing patient access across the continuum of care: Specifically, the CMA says there is an urgent need for comprehensive coverage of prescription drugs (also known as pharmacare) and dramatically increasing the number of places in home care and long-term care homes.

Helping providers help patients: “We need to increase the capacity of our health care work force to treat patients without expecting them to work harder,” the report says. It says addressing the shortage of doctors, nurses and other health professionals needs to be a priority, as does the funding of electronic health records.

Building accountability/responsibility at all levels: The CMA report calls for a greater emphasis on the quality of care and for the creation of an independent body to monitor and compare the performance of various provincial and territorial health systems.

I must say that that sounds reasonable and workable. For example, it's insane and stupid to just give each hospital a certain amount of money and expect them to accommodate all patients with it, inevitably leading to torturous, deadly rationing since the supply never comes close to meeting the demand, as is the inevitable case with anything of a socialist nature. Much better to pay them based on the number of patients they treat.

And the need for more doctors is, above all, critical. Especially for specialists who can make more rapid, accurate diagnoses than general-practitioning ER docs, who themselves are in seriously short supply and overworked. Can you imagine, for example, developing severe asthma, visiting the ER over and over again, for seven months before they finally get ahold of a specialist who finally makes the proper diagnosis and writes a prescription that makes the attacks go away? Seven months to diagnose a pretty-much common ailment! And cancer diagnosis, staging assessment and treatment, can you believe that can take months, too? Months can be the difference between catching it in time and having it turn terminal. Yep, seen this happen with my own eyes. This is how I know, too, that the system is broken for sure.

Although I'd add that the current insanity of banning private options ought to be ended, too. After all, this is supposed to be a free country, not a communist tyranny, plus what about the Left's constant repetition of the phrase, "right to choose"? Is that just meaningless nonsense they spew because they've been told to, without understanding what they're babbling about?

And the insufficient number of family doctors to go around, leading to millions of Canadians being without a personal physician to whom to go for the best care, must be addressed as well. These millions without personal physicians end up clogging the ERs all the time when they've got a scary problem they know they'd better "get looked at", even if it turns out to be not all that serious after all.