Canada’s health-care system has decayed from one of the best in the world to one of the worst. One policy analyst notes: “When Canadians are seriously ill, they don’t call a doctor; they call a travel agent.” Those who can afford it avoid long wait-times by seeking private care in the United States, and increasingly in India and other nations.
Under Canada’s single-payer plan, the insurer—the federal government—sets the standards for care. The Canadian system imposes de facto rationing of urgently-needed health care. There are more MRI machines in many individual American cities than in all of Canada.
Wait-times for treatment are in many cases too long.
There is a severe shortage of doctors and nurses. Doctors can be jailed for offering to provide their expertise outside the single-payer system. The patient has no choice.
The latest best-practice of building single-patient-room hospitals is not used in Canada because of short-sighted politicians. While these hospitals are initially more expensive to build, the savings in reduced infectious transmissions and shorter hospital stays recoups the additional costs within 5 years.
Meanwhile, Canada’s health-care system pays billions for medically unnecessary procedures such as abortions and sex-change operations.
Current Government strategy: (and how it falls short)
The “conservative” government has no vision or courage to make the kinds of changes needed.
Opposition strategy: (and how it falls short)
The Liberals and NDP would rather see everyone get inferior medical care, to ensure that no one gets better care than his neighbour. To impose that draconian regime, the Liberals, when in power, made it illegal to pay for your own health care, and rationed necessary care, imposing long delays.
The CHP’s Better Solution:
The CHP would tackle the problems with healthcare with 3 separate strategies.
The first is allowing more competition for the delivery of service, while maintaining a single, government-payer system. Competition reduces prices, thus reducing the government’s costs. How would this benefit you? Well, Philadelphia, for example, has more MRI machines than all of Canada! Competition would be good for Canadian patients.
Secondly, every province in Canada is desperate for more doctors. To attract doctors the CHP would offer the incentive of paid tuition for doctors who are willing to practice in rural areas. Doctors would then have to contract with a rural health authority to give a specified number of years of service. Residency requirements for graduating doctors would involve rotations throughout rural areas to allow doctors to form relationships within the community and put down roots. The CHP would also immediately fund additional residency spaces for graduating doctors. Most Canadians would be shocked to learn that although Canada has a severe shortage of doctors, every year graduating doctors are forced to leave Canada to complete their residencies because there aren’t enough placements for them. Lastly, the government must have more involvement in setting the standards for licensure of doctors in Canada, and allow the free movement of doctors within Canada.
Thirdly, the CHP proposes a universal Personal Income Security Account, combining health care and unemployment insurance with a universal pension plan to which everyone contributes 10 percent of income. The PISA can be invested, tax-free, in registered securities, vested in the name of each citizen. In addition, individuals should be free to purchase health-care insurance to protect their family income and their PISA investment account; and doctors should be free to offer their services on any basis agreed to by the patient.
The first $1,000 a year of medical expenses or loss-of-employment costs would be borne by the individual (with provision for the government to pay for indigent citizens) or their private insurance. Expenses beyond that could be paid from savings, private insurance, or from the individual’s PISA, up to 10 percent of the PISA balance in any year. Catastrophic medical expenses beyond the PISA limitation would be covered by a universal insurance plan.
The GST on medical insurance premiums would be invested in a medical malpractice awards fund, from which all claims for damages would be paid. Damage awards would be limited, and freedom from government control of medical practice would attract many more students into medical careers as doctors and nurses, relieving the present shortage.