Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Medicare Fifty Years Later: A Celebration of Intentions and Promises


This month Medicare supporters are celebrating the anniversary of one of the most widely recognized social programs in our country. Fifty years ago health care in Saskatchewan became a socialized commodity to be bought and sold by government under the banner of Medicare. Warnings about the dangers of socialized medicine came from doctors and patients whose voices were quickly drowned out by political promises; the same hollow promises echoing across Canada today.

In the birthplace of Canadian Medicare there are more than 20,000 patients waiting for surgery. Those who can’t afford to wait must leave Saskatchewan to access specialist appointments, diagnostic tests and treatments. There are staff shortages and bed shortages. Overcrowding in hospitals has normalized ‘Code Burgundy’ and ‘hallway nursing’. Elderly patients in hospitals are now commonly referred to as ‘bed blockers’. Rural areas struggle to retain doctors. The province continues to poach doctors and nurses from developing countries. The only medical college in the province is facing probationary status.

Half a century ago the voices of doctors and patients fell silent and health care became a socialized commodity. The doctor-patient relationship is now at the mercy of politicians, health care bureaucrats, public sector labour unions and professional associations.

How much longer can we afford to celebrate the intentions and promises of Medicare while ignoring its results?

Speak Your Mind

I have read, understood, and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy of The Patient Factor website, and I am posting this content in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the Terms of Service. I accept full responsibility for any content I post, and hereby consent to the publication of this content and its disclosure to the public on The Patient Factor website.

webdesign by Linda Caroll Copyright © 2009 Chapman Communication Sitemap / Privacy / Terms of Use
Canadian Health Care; News, Views and Commentary