Our Canadian Healthcare system, though envied by many countries, is in bad need of an overhaul. Wait times are far too long for necessary medical services. Our hospitals are not healthy places. There needs to be improved access to medical technologies and research. Our medical system needs to promote a healthy lifestyle in addition to current medical options.
The CHP would improve delivery of services by allowing more private delivery systems.
Restricting delivery to public facilities is only a strategy to protect the turf of public service unions. But more private initiative will increase innovation—both saving money and improving service. Even so, public funding must remain—and be enhanced. The Liberals cut it from 50% to 14%; it has never been restored. It should be restored to 25%.In addition, we should not allow ourselves to be terrified about so-called “two-tiered” health care: virtually every social democratic government in Europe already has two-tiered health care. It simply means letting private competition improve delivery and reduce costs, while retaining a single-payer insurance concept (the way the Canadian system was originally adopted) to ensure universal access.Currently, many private healthcare services are already available. If your doctor orders an ultrasound for you, you may be sent to a private clinic, when you are sent for blood work, it is frequently a private clinic. All you do is provide your health card.The real issue is universal access, with a single government payer. We are not advocating an American-type insurance system—simply for the Canadian system to work as originally intended.
Eliminate funding for abortion:
Abortion is now the most common surgical procedure in Canada, but rather than curing any illness, it creates new health problems: the newest research confirms that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, and recent studies in the UK show that in the two years after a pregnancy, the death rate from all causes is twice as high for abortive women as for those who carry their pregnancy to term, and the suicide rate is six times as high. And abortion greatly increases the risk that subsequent pregnancies will result in premature delivery and low birth-weight, both of which create needless additional load on the health care system.The Canada Health Act says that to qualify for public funding, a health procedure must
- be medically necessary,
- be beneficial,
- have benefits that outweigh the risks, and
- be the result of informed consent.
For these reasons, we don’t pay for someone’s nose job or breast implants, because they are considered cosmetic surgery and are not medically necessary. If, however, someone’s nose gets smashed in a car accident, or a woman needs a breast reconstructed after cancer surgery, we fund that, because those procedures meet the four requirements.
Abortion, as it is currently practiced in Canada, meets none of the four requirements of the Canada Health Act.
Approximately 106,000 abortions are performed in Canada each year. That represents about 1/3 of all pregnancies. It’s a staggering amount. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that each abortion costs $2000 in terms of operating room time, and the salary costs of all the hospital staff involved. That’s $210 million dollars.
If every procedure takes about 2 hours from start to finish (include preparation and clean-up), that’s 210,000 hours of scarce operating room surgical time. Imagine what surgical waiting lists would look like with that extra capacity!
For all of his protests, NDP Leader, Jack Layton proves the success of a mixed private delivery system. Mr. Layton, who’s campaigning as the defender of public health care, had surgery at a private clinic in the 1990s. He had hernia surgery at the Shouldice Hospital, a private facility in the Toronto suburb of Thornhill, while he was serving as a Toronto city councillor.
Advocates of private delivery in public system argue that patients don’t have to notice the difference—just as Mr. Layton said he didn’t. He wasn’t asked to write a personal cheque. So he can now serve as the poster-boy for private delivery of health care because his own words prove that such a system can work without disrupting patients’ access to the medical care they need. (Reference: Saskatoon Star-Phoenix – January 12, 2006)
Revamp hospital design.
Maclean’s magazine reported on the sick state of Canadian hospitals in its June 11, 2008 article titled, “Healing sick hospitals”:
Hospitals may be one of the most dangerous places on earth. An estimated 4,000 Canadians die each year from hospital infections — more than twice the number who succumb to traffic accidents annually. As Nicholas Köhler’s investigation into the science of hospital design (page 40) makes plain, while Canadian hospitals should be curing disease, they are often just as efficient at spreading it. It’s unacceptable, and yet the problem receives almost no public outcry or policy attention.
There are no real secrets to good hospital design. While it has become fashionable to claim that hospitals must have soaring atriums, natural wood adornments and indoor gardens to lift patients’ spirits — a few years ago the New York Times raved about a hospital in Norway with picture windows in the surgery rooms — this is a distraction. The true design necessities are those that stem the spread of infectious viruses, limit medical mistakes and facilitate good care. Based on the research of California-based think tank the Center for Health Design, the solutions are to be found in such mundane features as single rooms with individual toilets for all patients, ample hand-washing stations, non-porous fixtures, standardized surgical rooms and quieter floor materials. The extra costs of single-room designs are typically recouped in just a few years. “We will never build another hospital with multi-bedded wings,” says renowned U.S. hospital architect Derek Parker. “They’re expensive, there’s no privacy, and they’re intrusive.”
It should come as no surprise that the U.S. is leading the charge to build better hospitals. Vigorous competition provides ample motivation to adopt the best methods immediately. Patients can find out which hospitals suffer from poor design and avoid them. In Canada, unfortunately, the scope for patient choice is limited, and the adoption of best practices scattershot. While Calgary and Montreal are forging ahead with impressive plans for hospitals focused on single-bed rooms, the rest of the country is still building multi-bed wards that contribute to the spread of disease. In fact, almost all U.S. states have accepted the basic principles of good hospital design as set out by the American Institute of Architects. No province has formally committed to similar guidelines. It’s Canada’s uncompetitive and doctrinaire approach to medicare that’s stifling innovation and investment in hospital design. And patients continue to suffer because of it.
The CHP would immediately lead the way nationally by encouraging an immediate shift to newer and healthier hospitals using our Infrastructure Renewal Policy to fund these projects. This is another example of the Better Solutions for better health offered to Canadians by the CHP.
Improve Access to medical technologies.
Canada’s healthcare system is one of the most expensive of developed western countries, yet we lag behind most European countries when it comes to cutting edge medical technology available to Canadians. Our health care system relies heavily on a sizable inventory of older and outdated medical technologies, and also often relies more on less sophisticated forms of technology than might be optimal. These failures to maintain Canada’s healthcare system directly impact the health and treatment of Canadian patients. The CHP would immediately devote funds to upgrade the medical treatment technologies available to Canadians. Reference: http://www.fraserinstitute.org/commerce.web/product_files/ Medical_Technology_in_Canada.pdf (no longer available).
Promote healthy lifestyle choices.
The CHP would place a much greater emphasis on prevention, through public education programs to make people aware of the health risks of smoking, obesity, substance abuse, sexual promiscuity and perversion, and of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect, the two most common (and preventable) birth defects.
The CHP would end Government funding for the ‘Gardasil’ vaccination. Making young girls guinea pigs for Big Pharma is the Tories’ equivalent to the Liberals’ ‘Adscam’ scandal. Only the CHP would protect Canadian children from this kind of medical abuse.
The CHP would give public health & epidemics a higher public profile, to educate Canadians in safer lifestyle choices. For example, Uganda’s ABC campaign (Abstinence before marriage; Be faithful in marriage; Condoms as a last resort) has been the only successful anti-HIV/AIDS program; the pro-‘gay’ HIV industry opposes it. HIV/AIDS is essentially a behavioural disease, and control requires (a) behavioural change; and (b) normal public health measures (contact tracing; quarantine the infected to protect the uninfected; education). The AIDS Establishment’s focus on medication, if not accompanied by behavioural change, increases the rate of infection by enabling infected persons to live longer (which is good) and to continue to be sexually promiscuous (which is bad).
The CHP would scrap the odious Bill C-51. There is no benefit for Canadians in handing control over natural health products to the government’s friends in Big Pharma.
Canada’s health-care system has decayed from one of the best in the world to one of the worst.