Weekend With Bernie While Canada Waits

Toronto swooned over Senator Bernie Sanders last weekend. He came to visit Canadian healthcare.

He came, ostensibly, to learn.

He visited three of the shiniest, most advanced hospitals in Canada. Each of them fundraises more money than the total budgets of many smaller hospitals.

Wealthy people donate hundreds of millions to fund hospitals close to wealthy neighbourhoods. Sanders saw only the best, and he liked what he saw.

After his tour, he said Canadians were too quiet about our system. Continue reading “Weekend With Bernie While Canada Waits”

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Why Medicare Survives Unchanged

When Lucy returned to England, her siblings teased her about Narnia. Even Edmund, who had been there himself, pretended she was nuts to save his own reputation.

An almost unsurpassable gulf yawns between those who work on the front lines of care and those who talk about it.

It feels like many of the talkers exist in a land far removed from the real world of patient care.

I have travelled across Ontario speaking with doctors, healthcare leaders and politicians, over the last few weeks.

What I hear disturbs me.

Three Elites

With a view of Parliament Hill in the background, a group of us listened to two members of government and one who works with government.

Speaker #1 complained that pouring money into healthcare hasn’t changed outcomes.

“This would never happen in the auto or aerospace sector.”

He said, we “…need to measure outcomes better…” against “…accepted standards…to enforce outcomes.” Governments should “pay for outcomes instead of pay for care.”

“We have got to dispel the myth about…the expertise of physicians. These are management decisions.” Continue reading “Why Medicare Survives Unchanged”

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How Can We Fix Healthcare?

Most people like recipes. A 3-step plan to tight abs guarantees thousands of readers.

Eat less move more is too simple and too hard.

Politicians and journalists ask me, “How can we fix healthcare?” I love the question. They rarely love my answers.

They want a three-step plan to fix healthcare. They want concrete solutions: programs, legislation, “A fix for a generation”.

But if Canadian Tire was struggling, would it call for new programs or legislation? Would Apple innovate with new government spending?

Kaiser-Permanente, a Californian healthcare company, provides care to almost as many patients as we have in Ontario. Does Kaiser-Permanente try to improve operations with subsidies, special programs or new regulations?

We cannot fix healthcare with money, programs or controls. The reason we keep seeing the same three tactics is because those are the only tactics government can use. Continue reading “How Can We Fix Healthcare?”

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