Can’t Start a Fire Without a Spark: Speaking Up at the Vancouver Town Hall
Last week I attended the Vancouver town hall on rebuilding Medicare. It’s one of five public events, make that six with the recent addition of Québec City, being hosted by the Canadian Medical Association and Maclean’s magazine.
Many people, including some doctors and nurses, are calling for an expansion of Medicare to provide coverage for pharmaceuticals, long-term care, and a growing list of other things. As it stands, our health care spending accounts for almost 43% of provincial budgets in a system with government price controls and rationed care.
At the last town hall held in Edmonton a member of the audience asked a great question
“Governments are not good at running businesses especially health care, isn’t this where the conversation should start?”
I agree. Millions of Canadians are without a family doctor and hundreds of thousands of patients are waiting on lists for access to diagnostic tests, specialists and surgery. I’m not advocating for Medicare or any expansion of the Canada Health Act. Based on my patient experiences and what I’ve learned about our single-payer system, I stopped considering government as my best advisor for health care many years ago.
You can listen to what I had to say at the Vancouver town hall on the Cable Public Affairs Channel (forward video to 39:27)or read it here:
Our health care system is failing both patients and providers.
It’s time for politicians, doctors, and patients to acknowledge that government cannot provide for all of the health care needs of all of the people all of the time.
We have outgrown Medicare, yet a government monopoly leaves us trapped in a health care system where politicians and health care bureaucrats make decisions regarding our access to health care and the type and quality of care we receive. Ultimately, it is patients who are left to bear the greatest costs for its failures.
It’s time to usher in a new health care system that promotes and protects the medical freedoms of patients and doctors; that puts patients and their doctors, not third parties, in charge of making health care decisions and that allows all Canadians the freedom to spend their own money on their own health care within their own country. Improvements in access and quality, greater transparency and accountability, and a true culture of patient-centered care will follow.
It’s time for government to return health care to its rightful owners – patients and their doctors.
How are you going to help patients usher in a new health care system based on the individual medical freedoms of patients and doctors?