What’s so Special About Northern Medicine?

Everyone is special, some more than others.

Need trumps merit in our socialized healthcare system. So naturally, we all compete to be the most needy. It’s in our best interest.

Appearing needy maximizes the chance of getting funding. Strength invites scrutiny or funding cuts.

Is the whole thing a sham?

Should all stakeholders get identical gifts?

Despite cynicism about interests and special favours, small towns have unique needs. Northern medicine is truly special. The big issues are, for the most part, the same as everywhere else:

Funding cuts cause decreased access to care.

Overcrowded hospitals leave patients in hallways.

Lack of long-term care beds exacerbates hospital crowding.

Bad management makes everyone suffer.

The issues are identical. The impact is unique. Continue reading “What’s so Special About Northern Medicine?”

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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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