health

2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

Canada’s taxpayers have been increasingly generous to Aboriginal Canadians over the decades but that reality is not often the narrative one hears from selected First Nations leaders. Instead, the oft-stated opinion is that taxpayers should ante up ever more.


2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

Recently, a concerned parent pointed me to a film being shown to his child’s sixth grade class, called “The Story of Stuff.” The movie, created in 2007, depicts a world in which big corporations, in cahoots with big government, pretty much destroy the entire planet and maliciously poison the environment for their own filthy ends. According to the Story of Stuff website, the film has been viewed 15 million times, and is one of the “most-watched environmental-themed online movies of all time.”


2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

Once again the Ontario government is meddling with generic drug prices in a vain attempt to save a few bucks. Having dug itself into an enormous fiscal hole, the province just announced it will further lower the prices it pays for the 10 best-selling generic prescription medicines to 20 per cent of their brand-name equivalents, down from the current 25 per cent.


2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

The idea that some Albertans might be getting their health care more rapidly than others, because of who they happen to be, or who they know, seems to have generated a fair amount of rage among opposition politicians and the public. Yet many of those who decry such queue jumping by elites and the politically connected are supporters of the current public monopoly in health care insurance and hospital care delivery, and it is this very structure, and the rationing by waiting it entails, that is to blame for the situation.


2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

Are Canadians getting good value for money from their health insurance system? This question is often discussed among health economists and policymakers. And while it’s important to know whether citizens are getting the best ‘bang for their health buck,’ it’s imperative that the appropriate outcomes are measured in order to accurately assess the economic performance of a health insurance system.


2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

Government health spending is growing at unsustainable rates, while patients are facing shortages of medical resources and declining access to necessary medical care. The president of the Canadian Medical Association recently called on the federal government to become more involved in the management of provincial health systems in order to solve the serious problems plaguing Medicare. Unfortunately, the CMA president seriously misdiagnosed the cause of the health system’s ills.


2:00AM
Printer-friendly version
Canada’s health system is causing a crisis in provincial public finances. The growth in government health spending continues to outpace our public capacity to pay for it. The provinces must shift some costs onto medical consumers, or risk eventual provincial bankruptcy.

2:00AM
Printer-friendly version
A Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) study recently reported that wait times for access to health care across a few priority treatment areas are improving. According to CIHI, “at least 8 out of 10 Canadian patients are receiving priority area procedures… within medically recommended wait times.” This score might be acceptable to those who manage the health care system, but patients and taxpayers would be justified in questioning whether it represents success for them.

3:00AM
Printer-friendly version
Health care reform has once again become a common dialogue around the water cooler as the 10-year $41 billion funding agreement between the feds and the provinces is set to expire in 2014. The Canadian Medical Association and other key stakeholders expressing their opinions on how health care should be reformed appear to be repeating their tired old status quo story (more money, more plans, and three cheers for Medicare). Canadian politicians and policymakers would be wise to ignore them and take this opportunity to introduce real reform.