Canadian healthcare stands paralyzed in a Robert Frost poem:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
– The Road Not Taken
Wooly-minded people pretend binary choices do not exist. They think we can choose both roads. Or they think one road will always be clearly wrong, as long as we use logic, facts and good will in choosing.
Doctors face two roads every day:
Do we do what’s best for the patient and prescribe an expensive treatment, or do we do what’s best for society and save the money for something else?
Friends can speak without using words. Marketers used people sharing private looks to create a brilliant ad for Lexus. It sells cars using relationship.
Medicine starts and ends with the doctor-patient relationship.
Patients want their doctors to care most about them, not about society, or the greater good. Patients want to feel they have an exclusive relationship with their doctor; one that sees them as a unique and important.
This creates a problem:
How can doctors have exclusive, therapeutic relationships with patients and, at the same time, be stewards for the greater good?
With unlimited money, doctors can pretend to put their patient’s interests first and try to please society at the same time.
But at some point, doctors must choose: Do they do what’s best for the patient in front of them, or do they do what’s best for the community as a whole?
Almost 50% of couples divorce, but 90% never fight about money, according to a new study.
Government has fought with doctors for almost 50 years now, and it looks like all they do is argue over money. This assumption is reasonable, and wrong.
Money is a Distraction
Most grownups pay attention to their accounts. They limit debt and make payments on time. They know that money runs out.
Government takes a different approach. In part, government does not need to worry; it can always raise taxes. But voters will not tolerate anything. Taxes run out, too.
When doctors and government fight about money, observers often miss an important point: Government does not really need to worry about the money it spends on doctors. Continue reading “Not About the Money”
Dysfunctional families sit down for dinner and dance around old feuds. They trip over unspoken debates and pray the kids don’t ask awkward questions.
The same thing happens in healthcare. Doctors sit down with patients and try not to think about why healthcare works the way it does. Hopefully no one asks an awkward question.
How to Create a Mess – 101
In theory, healthcare works like this: Doctors care for patients and leave funding to the government. If patients need specific care that no one offers, some doctors retrain so that they can open clinics to provide the needed service.
Doctors fill needs and niches. They form an organic network of medical services and referral patterns around patient care.
Everything would work fine, if government could just let it happen and step in only when doctors and patients asked for help, for problems they cannot solve themselves.
This must read, 700 word editorial from the National Post sums up the issues with Canadian healthcare and the BC Supreme Court case.
Read the original article here, or in the full text below.
Our Medical System Needs Choice to Survive
– National Post, Sept 7, 2016
Defenders of public health care in Canada should welcome Dr. Brian Day’s constitutional challenge to Canada’s health-care system, which has finally reached British Columbia’s Supreme Court. The system needs choice to survive.
Day’s critics clearly don’t see it that way. Predictably, they warn that a victory for the former Canadian Medical Association president will sentence Canadians to “U.S.-style health care” and an inevitable decline in standards or access. The claim suggests a curious myopia. First, there is no reason to assume the only alternative to our current system is 100 per cent private medicine Continue reading “Our Medical System Needs Choice to Survive – National Post”
Whether in war or the Super Bowl, anyone who tries to cheer for two opponents gets called a traitor by both.
Serious opponents wrestle over fundamental differences. Dreamy relativists dismiss debate and sing, “Why can’t we be friends.”
Although peace costs less than war, sometimes you must pick a side and fight. Peace-brokers risk becoming irrelevant to both sides, after the war ends. Those too eager for peace could incite civil war in their own ranks.
That’s not to say we should never call a truce. Calling a truce means, by definition, that there are two sides. You cannot deny differences and hope to win favour with both opponents.