Alberta backs away from health reforms.

The Alberta government announces today that they are not going to proceed with their private health care plan. Alberta Health Minister Iris Evans said the government heard from Albertans that they either don't want the reforms now, or they don't understand what the government wants to do.

Check out this link:

My Two Cents
I'm happy Alberta decided not to go forward with their private health care plan. There are alot of people in Alberta that don't make enough money to pay for their health care.
I think this is a mistake, and I am not wealthy by any description.

IMO, the waiting times in Alberta, and the rest of the country are caused by one or two problems, or both: Lack of doctors and lack of facilities. My thought is that if there are private hospitals provided, and we can have surgeries done at these facilities, with the cost coming from the public system at the same cost as the same procedure done in a public hospital, what is wrong with that? For instance, if Doctor A works in the Calgary Public Hospital (just a name, not really a hospital), and Doctor B has put up money to build and run Doctor B's Hospital, and the cost of a surgery for, say, a knee replacement is $20,000 (I have no idea what the actual cost is, just using a number), and if a patient can be sent to Doctor Bs hospital who will be paid $20k for the knee replacement, same as Doctor A does in the Calgary Public, what is the problem? Both places get paid the same, from the same source, but now we have two facilities instead of one. No one jumps a que, its just the next in line.

Using private facilities for publicly funded medical procedures for the same cost cannot be bad, and opens up a new avenue for these procedures to be performed.

Alternatively, here is another option. Instead of our surgical beds operating less than 24 hours a day, should we not insist that our publicy funded public hospitals operate around the clock, and if you surgery gets scheduled for 3:00 am, thats the luck of the draw? Why do we accept that our MRI's and CT machines operate only 8 - 10 hours per day for the public? Surely in a system that provides a publicly funded system we should demand nothing less than 24/7 medical coverage?

The insurance provision is already in place in Canada for many employees, and also for people who already purchase private insurance, such as Blue Cross.
The problem is having a private system doesn't help with wait lists and it is more costly. Waitlists in Canada generally relate to a shortage of personel. Building a private hospital doesn't create more doctors and nurses. It isn't field of dreams. You can't operate surgical beds 24 hours a day because we don't have enough nurses and doctors to do it.
I think with Harpers speeches over the last couple of days there is something else in the works that is preventing Alberta from going ahead with its former plans...just a hunch I have.
I am quite happy that the Government of Alberta, headed by the Honourable Ralph Klein, P.C., M.L.A., the Member for Calgary—Elbow and the Premier of Alberta, has decided not to ahead with their more contentious initiatives in terms of reforming the health care system in the Province of Alberta. I would assert that many citizens of not only Alberta, but many citizens of other provinces and territories, would have been concerned by reforms of this sort of nature.

In a nation where many citizens champion the notion of public health care (whether or not such a system is as effective as it could be — but I am unsure as to whether that would be the topic at hand), I think that it would be quite dangerous for any Government at this time, including the Government of Canada, to sound as they are promoting a system which many citizens would meet with extreme apprehension.
I think people who are against the draconian health-care system should riot and set **** on fire. Liberals like that, or at least they like it when the French and Arabs do it and we need to get Liberals on side....
I had a feeling you were going to respond with something to do with one of the Liberal Parties, Jay. :P You have a tendency of generalizing everyone behind the name of a banner which, I would argue, isn't a realistic way to view people.

Jay, I hope that nobody "riots", as you have so encouraged. I don't think that it would accomplish anything, other than to create trouble for the people of Canada. I think if we're going to do anything, it would be a long discussion and debate on how to move forward in terms of reforming our health care system, rather than pushing forward initiatives from some shadowy, secretive crevice.
Yes I'm afraid we are getting to know one another too well Five....I'm comfortable with that though.
Draconian? I find that shocking. Never once has a patient or a patient's parent described the care we provided them as draconian. Canadians have no idea how good they have it if that's what they think of their health care system or they are just prone to hyperbole
Tracy, I don't think our system is Draconian. I think you nailed the problem on the head, the system needs more Doctors, Nurses and Health Care Providers, arm chair critics who have no experience in the Health Care field and haven't a clue what the problem is. They use hyper-Governemt Dribble to explain the problem, have the Government Speakeez'ers put forth a viable solution? No, because beyond the Party Mantra they worship they haven't a personal consious thought. I'm so tired of the politics all Parties.
They put forth a great report with several solutions, the problem is NO ONE seems to want to implement them. Few non-health care workers I know have ever even heard of the Romanow Report.

This may be why I have less patience for Canadians and politicians complaining about it than I used to. My simple answer is "THEN DO SOMETHING!!"
I haven't heard of it, what are some of the recommendations?
Increased investment in public health (every $ there saves $7 later)

Increased investments in home care (keeping people at home rather than in the hospital saves money and leaves hospital beds open for acute patients like they are supposed to be!!!)

Increase the use of alternative providers, especially in areas where there are doctors' shortages (NPs, PAs, CNMs, etc. in the US all deliver care with as good or better outcome than docs when used in the right settings)

Retain health care workers (with things like paid specialty training, full time jobs, etc. which increase work satisfaction) rather than paying to train them then watching them leave. I could go on about this one for quite a while and it baffles me why employers haven't figured out that retaining staff is the most important and cost effetive thing they can do for their patients.

Change the delivery of care when it can be streamlined by focusing that delivery (see Alberta's decrease in wait times for orthopedic surgeries a few months ago? Sort of like that).

There were more...
Here's a link (external - login to view)

Making the system more comprehensive by integrating priority home care services (home mental health case management and intervention services; post-acute home care, and palliative home care) within the Canada Health Act, as well as improving prescription drug coverage.
Improving timely access to quality care for all Canadians through special initiatives to improve waitlist management, by removing obstacles to primary care reform, and by increasing the supply of advanced diagnostic services and of health care providers across Canada.
Encouraging a national personal electronic health record system and protecting the security and privacy of Canadians' personal health information through amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada.
Thank you Tracy, it sounds like a very sound plan? Why hasn't been inacted?
Money fights, power struggles, individual interests (corporate and professional) and plain old apathy IMO. It's a lot easier to maintain the status quo.
It's just wrong, most of the recommendations would solve the Crisis. Here in Cowville our local Hospital is often closed for anything that isn't ER related. The General Ward is full of Elderly Patients that need long term care in a Nursing Homes but there is a severe lack of Nursing Homes in My County. The sick are being denied entrance, the Elderly are in Hospital when they'd rather live in assisted care. Can't the Government ever fast track a program with out all the bull and politics, if they were a Corporation they'd be declaring Bankruptcy.
Actually, corporations do well with that kind of inefficiency in health care. As long as someone is in the bed they get paid. I've seen that first hand down here.
Tracy the US loves Canadian Nurses, how do you like Nursing in the states, compared to Canada?
I've got an idea that would help increase the amount of funding to our health care system. The government should deduct 1% of our income and put it towards health care.
Quote: Originally Posted by Sassylassie

Tracy the US loves Canadian Nurses, how do you like Nursing in the states, compared to Canada?

Like anything it's a mixed bag. Some things I love, some things I don't. Overall, it's definitely been a positive experience and I am glad I moved down here. I do think working here has increased my sense of frustration when I see Canadians complain about health care though, partly because they don't realize how good they have it in some ways and partly because they refuse to do the things the US does well.

Similar Threads

The shape of Health Care in Alberta
by cyberclark | Jan 30th, 2006
no new posts