Simply Overwhelmed

Dr. Lynsey Bartlett made national news when she let 200 patients go last week.

She was charting until midnight, spending 1/3 of her day with complex mental health patients and could not afford to hire more staff to help out.

She was simply overwhelmed.

Many docs do what Bartlett did, but they go quietly. They trim office hours or join larger groups.

Patients wait longer for next-available appointments. But no one sees it in the news. Access changes like the tide, quiet and slow.

The tide has shifted, in Ontario. Continue reading “Simply Overwhelmed”

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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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