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Unread postPosted: December 10th, 2019, 9:36 am 
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Canadian health care is extremely expensive, inadequate and unsustainable. We must join the rest of the developed world with better health care outcomes than our own and allow private insurers to compete with provincial health care before it's too late.

Source: Fraser institute

One million on a waiting list: Study

Medical wait times for necessary treatment are long and getting longer across Canada, causing unnecessary suffering, disabilities and death, according to a new study by the Fraser Institute.

It found the median wait time across 12 medical specialties was 20.9 weeks in 2019, up from 19.8 weeks in 2018.

It’s the second-longest median wait time ever recorded by the Fraser Institute, surpassed only by a 21.2 week median wait time in 2017.

It’s also 124% longer than the 9.3 week median wait time the Fraser Institute reported when it began studying the issue in 1993.

“Across Canada, patients continue to wait more than four months for medically necessary treatment,” said Bacchus Barua, co-author of the study Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2019.

“Long wait lines for medically necessary treatments increase suffering for patients, decrease quality of life, and in the worst cases, lead to disability or death,” said Barua, associate director of health policy studies, for the fiscally-conservative think tank.

The study defines medical wait times as the time it takes for a general practitioner (i.e. a family doctor) to refer a patient to a specialist, plus the time until the patient ultimately receives treatment.

The report estimates more than one million Canadians are on medical waiting lists for necessary treatment, assuming each patient is waiting for one treatment.

“Wait times for medically necessary treatment are not benign inconveniences,” the study says.

“Wait times can, and do, have serious consequences such as increased pain, suffering and mental anguish. In certain instances, they can also result in poorer medical outcomes — transforming potentially reversible illnesses or injuries into chronic, irreversible conditions, or even permanent disabilities.”

A previous study by the Fraser Institute estimated the private costs incurred by

Canadians waiting for medically necessary treatment in 2018 was over $2 billion, due to lost salaries and reduced work productivity.

Nationally, wait times were longest at 39.1 weeks for orthopaedic surgery (for example, hip and knee replacements) and shortest for medical oncology (cancer) at 4.4 weeks.

Ontario had the shortest median wait time for medically necessary treatment in 2019 of 16 weeks, up from 15.7 weeks in 2018.

Prince Edward Island had the longest at 49.3 weeks in 2019, compared to 39.8 weeks last year, although the study cautions the numbers in Atlantic Canada may be skewed because there were proportionately fewer responses to the survey there compared to the rest of the country.

Every province recorded longer medical wait times in 2019, except New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The Fraser Institute has long argued patients should be allowed to spend their own money for medically necessary treatment.

Opponents say that would create a two-tier health care system based on ability to pay.

The issue may ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court of Canada.

That’s because of an ongoing court case in B.C., where a doctor is arguing the fact his patients are denied the ability to use their own money for medically necessary treatment, while the government forces them onto lengthy waiting lists for treatment, is unconstitutional.

Both sides agree the case is going to end up in the Supreme Court.

In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in a Quebec case that, in the words of then chief justice Beverley Mclachlin, “access to a waiting list is not access to health care” but the decision only applied to Quebec, and to the Quebec Charter of Rights.

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Unread postPosted: December 10th, 2019, 10:47 am 
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We have arguably the best health care delivery here in Saskatchewan. But, it is still deteriorating like the rest of Canada. We needed reform of the Canada health act twenty five years ago. The rising costs and poor quality was predicted by Preston Manning more than twenty five years ago.

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Unread postPosted: December 10th, 2019, 12:20 pm 
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Under the NDP government more money was spent on health care, but wait times increased..

The money went to administration instead of delivery of care..

Health care executives would rather fire nurses than surrender one dime of their bloated salaries.


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Unread postPosted: December 10th, 2019, 12:49 pm 
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Fashionista wrote:
Under the NDP government more money was spent on health care, but wait times increased..

The money went to administration instead of delivery of care..

Health care executives would rather fire nurses than surrender one dime of their bloated salaries.

They make the cuts and blame the government for shitcanning nurses.

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Unread postPosted: December 10th, 2019, 1:32 pm 
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All the advanced countries in Asia have superior health care to Canada and they do it a lower cost. We all know more money is the prescription. We need competition.

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Unread postPosted: December 10th, 2019, 3:15 pm 
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My wife and I do not have a good opinion of Canada's health care system. Israeli health care is far superior, offers choice and is truly universal.

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Unread postPosted: December 10th, 2019, 3:55 pm 
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In my lifetime Manitoba health care has stopped funding a lit of necessary treatments. But, spending for our heath care has soared.

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Unread postPosted: December 10th, 2019, 4:43 pm 
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When my mother was at the end of her life, she received good care. That was a long time ago.


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Unread postPosted: December 10th, 2019, 6:20 pm 
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Velvet wrote:
When my mother was at the end of her life, she received good care. That was a long time ago.

Most people would agree health care is not as good as it used to be.


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Unread postPosted: December 11th, 2019, 10:08 am 
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I see Alberta is proposing to reduce wait times for surgeries by shifting some of the burden to private surgical facilities. By shifting minor procedures such as hip and knee replacements and cataract surgeries to private clinics hospitals can have more time and resources for emergency care. :thumbup:

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Unread postPosted: December 11th, 2019, 4:45 pm 
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seoulbro wrote:
I see Alberta is proposing to reduce wait times for surgeries by shifting some of the burden to private surgical facilities. By shifting minor procedures such as hip and knee replacements and cataract surgeries to private clinics hospitals can have more time and resources for emergency care. :thumbup:

I don't care what they do, as long as they reduce wait times.

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Unread postPosted: December 18th, 2019, 8:06 am 
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Canadians willing to pay for private MRI scans: report

Some provinces are more MRI-friendly for patients than others.

The first private MRI clinic opened in Calgary in 1993, and a new report by SecondStreet.org finds the majority of Canadians can pay for private MRI scans and avoids lengthy queues.

“Despite what some activists claimed would happen, the sky has not fallen since the first private MRI clinic opened in Canada 26 years ago,” said Colin Craig, president of SecondStreet.org.

“In a majority of provinces, Canadian patients now have a choice — wait for an MRI scan through the public system or pay out of pocket at a private clinic. Some might even want to surprise a loved one with a private scan this Christmas.”

Regulations that permit private MRIs vary from province to province, as in Saskatchewan where a clinic providing private scans must provide a free scan to a patient waiting in the public system.

“When you look at universal health care systems around the world that provide better results than Canada, they all have a mix of public and private options,” Craig said.

“If Canada allowed more private procedures while keeping our public system, we could likely reduce the more than 200,000 patient trips that Canadians make outside the country for health care each year.”
https://torontosun.com/news/local-news/private-mri
All OECD nations all allow it. It's time Canada pulled our heads out of the sand and allowed competition.

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Unread postPosted: December 18th, 2019, 9:30 am 
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seoulbro wrote:
Canadians willing to pay for private MRI scans: report

Some provinces are more MRI-friendly for patients than others.

The first private MRI clinic opened in Calgary in 1993, and a new report by SecondStreet.org finds the majority of Canadians can pay for private MRI scans and avoids lengthy queues.

“Despite what some activists claimed would happen, the sky has not fallen since the first private MRI clinic opened in Canada 26 years ago,” said Colin Craig, president of SecondStreet.org.

“In a majority of provinces, Canadian patients now have a choice — wait for an MRI scan through the public system or pay out of pocket at a private clinic. Some might even want to surprise a loved one with a private scan this Christmas.”

Regulations that permit private MRIs vary from province to province, as in Saskatchewan where a clinic providing private scans must provide a free scan to a patient waiting in the public system.

“When you look at universal health care systems around the world that provide better results than Canada, they all have a mix of public and private options,” Craig said.

“If Canada allowed more private procedures while keeping our public system, we could likely reduce the more than 200,000 patient trips that Canadians make outside the country for health care each year.”
https://torontosun.com/news/local-news/private-mri
All OECD nations all allow it. It's time Canada pulled our heads out of the sand and allowed competition.

As long as private clinics are not used as an excuse to take funding away from provincial health care.

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Unread postPosted: December 22nd, 2019, 9:11 pm 
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Socialism kills.

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Unread postPosted: December 22nd, 2019, 9:20 pm 
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Dinky Dianna wrote:
Socialism kills.

I am not impressed with Canada's health care system. Israel's is superior.

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Unread postPosted: December 22nd, 2019, 9:28 pm 
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Gaon wrote:
Dinky Dianna wrote:
Socialism kills.

I am not impressed with Canada's health care system. Israel's is superior.

Taiwan's health care is better and cheaper than Canadian health care.


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Unread postPosted: January 7th, 2020, 8:41 am 
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By Colin Craig, president of Secondstreet.org, a new Canadian think tank

MRI choice for patients has grown substantially

Should you be allowed to use your own money to try to improve your health? A quarter century ago, it was a controversial decision for the Alberta government to say “yes” to that question when it came to allowing private MRI scans.

At the time, patients could either wait ages for the government to provide an MRI scan or leave the country and pay for a faster scan; private clinics were not allowed to sell scans to the public in Canada.

But all that changed when the Alberta government decided to allow a private MRI clinic to open in Calgary. Some critics, many of whom had a comfortable monopoly on health care, fear-mongered about the policy change, arguing that giving patients choice would “undermine” the government’s health care system.

Well, that was 1993. Secondstreet.org decided to see where things are at today in Canada.

What we found was that a majority of provinces now allow patients the same choice Albertans have had for over a quarter of a century — wait for the government’s health care system to provide an MRI scan at no charge or pay out-of-pocket at a private clinic.

British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick now allow private clinics to sell MRI scans to the public. (Note: The current B.C. government is in court trying to clamp down on private health care options in the province.)

Ontario outright bans private MRI scans, while Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland do not yet have private clinics that sell scans to the public (proponents would need to apply for approval).

In the case of Ontario, restrictive health care policies are still pushing patients— as well as some doctors and capital investment — from Canada to outside the country.

For example, one Ontario resident, Jocelyn, described to Secondstreet.org how she has taken her son and a parent to Buffalo for MRI scans in the past. Why? Because the procedures are provided much more quickly.

According to the Ontario government’s own data on MRI scans, less than 40 percent of patients are scanned within the target time frame set by specialists and health care administrators.

Jocelyn is not alone when it comes to leaving the country for faster health care. Statistics Canada data obtained by Secondstreet.org shows that Canadian patients made over 217,000 trips outside the country in 2017 specifically for health care.

And each time a patient leaves the country for health care, their money helps create jobs and opportunities in other countries — not that you can blame a patient for trying to improve their health.

It should also be pointed out that each time a Canadian patient visits a private clinic for an MRI scan, they’re one less person waiting in line in the government’s system – shortening the waiting list for everyone else.

There are many countries with universal health care systems that perform better than Canada.

For example, Australia, New Zealand and Norway all provide better results according to the progressive Commonwealth Fund’s 2017 study on health care systems. What do those countries have in common? They operate public health care systems alongside private health care clinics.

It should be clear that private health care doesn’t “undermine,” public health care. Not only does it provide patients more choice, it reduces the strain on the public system.

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Unread postPosted: January 8th, 2020, 9:09 am 
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This is true of every province, not just Alberta. Health care delivery must be reformed and soon.

Ben Eisen is a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute’s Alberta Prosperity Initiative. This column was co-authored by Mackenzie Moir, a junior policy analyst at the Fraser Institute.

Health care reform at heart of any attempt to right Alberta’s fiscal ship

In 2019, Alberta spent significantly more per person on health care than any of the other large provinces — specifically, between 13 per cent and 22 per cent higher than British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.

This despite the fact that all three of these other provinces have significantly older populations than Alberta, which places upward pressure on costs.

Moreover, Canada — as a country — is a big spender on health care compared to other economically developed countries.

As recently compiled data from Canada’s Institute for Health Information shows, in 2018 Canada was among the highest spenders on health care in the world — 24 per cent higher than the average for the OECD, a group of the world’s most developed countries.

Sadly, there’s little or no evidence to suggest that all this spending translates into outstanding delivery of health care services.

For example, recent Fraser Institute research found that, in 2017, Canada was near the bottom or middle of the OECD pack for the availability of physicians, nurses and hospital beds.

Back in Alberta, there’s worrying evidence that the province’s big spending compared to other Canadian provinces may not be producing the desired outcomes.

For example, according to recent research, health care wait times are generally longer in Alberta than in the rest of Canada.

In 2019, Albertans faced a median wait time of 28 weeks for treatment after a referral from a family doctor compared to a national average of 20.9 weeks.

In short, per-person health care costs in Alberta are among the highest in the world, but the evidence suggests our health care system is not commensurately excellent.

Kenney’s government has committed to putting Alberta’s finances on a more sustainable footing.

This is a big job; it won’t be easy.

But it will likely be impossible without policy reforms that find savings in the health care system.

As such, the government is right to seek expert advice on how to get better value for money in health care.

Hopefully, the soon-to-be-released Ernst and Young report will present evidence-based strategies and reform options to simultaneously find savings and reduce wait times, and thus take steps toward the creation of a truly world-class health care system in the province.

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Unread postPosted: January 9th, 2020, 6:19 am 
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seoulbro wrote:
This is true of every province, not just Alberta. Health care delivery must be reformed and soon.

Ben Eisen is a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute’s Alberta Prosperity Initiative. This column was co-authored by Mackenzie Moir, a junior policy analyst at the Fraser Institute.

Health care reform at heart of any attempt to right Alberta’s fiscal ship

In 2019, Alberta spent significantly more per person on health care than any of the other large provinces — specifically, between 13 per cent and 22 per cent higher than British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.

This despite the fact that all three of these other provinces have significantly older populations than Alberta, which places upward pressure on costs.

Moreover, Canada — as a country — is a big spender on health care compared to other economically developed countries.

As recently compiled data from Canada’s Institute for Health Information shows, in 2018 Canada was among the highest spenders on health care in the world — 24 per cent higher than the average for the OECD, a group of the world’s most developed countries.

Sadly, there’s little or no evidence to suggest that all this spending translates into outstanding delivery of health care services.

For example, recent Fraser Institute research found that, in 2017, Canada was near the bottom or middle of the OECD pack for the availability of physicians, nurses and hospital beds.

Back in Alberta, there’s worrying evidence that the province’s big spending compared to other Canadian provinces may not be producing the desired outcomes.

For example, according to recent research, health care wait times are generally longer in Alberta than in the rest of Canada.

In 2019, Albertans faced a median wait time of 28 weeks for treatment after a referral from a family doctor compared to a national average of 20.9 weeks.

In short, per-person health care costs in Alberta are among the highest in the world, but the evidence suggests our health care system is not commensurately excellent.

Kenney’s government has committed to putting Alberta’s finances on a more sustainable footing.

This is a big job; it won’t be easy.

But it will likely be impossible without policy reforms that find savings in the health care system.

As such, the government is right to seek expert advice on how to get better value for money in health care.

Hopefully, the soon-to-be-released Ernst and Young report will present evidence-based strategies and reform options to simultaneously find savings and reduce wait times, and thus take steps toward the creation of a truly world-class health care system in the province.

We're spending more on health care now than we ever have, it consumes about forty per cent of my province's budget, but services keep getting delisted and wait times keep growing..

Why are we spending so much for so little.


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Unread postPosted: January 21st, 2020, 7:18 am 
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Interesting report on the state of Canada's mediocre health care system.

Steven Globerman, author of Understanding Universal Health Care Reform Options:

Private Insurance, to be released Tuesday by the Fraser Institute, breaks down the findings:

What Is the biggest TAKEAWAY?

Canada is unique in that it does not rely on private insurance for coverage of medically necessary services, where all other high-income

OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries (17 in total were involved in the study), which are considered to provide universal health care, have private health insurance to a greater or lesser extent, so that’s the first point. I guess the takeaway from that observation is that it’s certainly consistent with universal coverage to have private insurance or, to put it another way, having private insurance does not necessarily lead to a departure from universal health-care coverage, which is obviously a goal that Canada has.

Anything ELSE of INTEREST to CANADA?

The second takeaway is that there are different manifestations of private insurance. For example, precisely how it’s provided and what it covers and that varies ... But the important point is that there is no evidence that allowing private insurance leads to ... lower-quality health care. In fact, the evidence is that in certain (cases), allowing private insurance actually improves outcomes, including for lower-income individuals, and this is particularly true with respect to wait times.

What does private INSURANCE have to do With Improving WAIT TIMES?

Take Australia or Denmark. These are two countries where private insurance is primarily used to facilitate faster access to medical services and also a wider selection, a greater choice, of who your provider’s going to be — particularly who your specialist provider is going to be. now, obviously what the private insurers want to do ... is to enable their customers to have faster access to services. so the private insurers will pay doctors and clinics sufficient money so that they will provide the services that the insurers’ clients want. and if they want faster service, then they’ll pay more for those providers and clinics to stay open longer hours to provide that service.

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