Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bandaids on surgical wounds

In today's SP (Aug. 4/10) Dr. Anne Doig, President of the Canadian Medical Association, warns that Canadian Health Care is in distress and that the prescription issued is immediate transformation of the system. The CMA report states the system is "not delivering value for the money spent." Hardly news to most of us.

The one thing I have learned about prescriptions is to question the medication and its side effects before you ingest it.

I'm not convinced that more money is the quick or only fix. Firstly, it must impressed upon the public that health care is not free. It is tax-funded. The mentality that it costs nothing encourages people to seek unnecessary services.

Secondly, penalties should be attached to those who misuse the system. Too often people use Emergency Wards as medi-clinics. I have been in ER's when people come in for care on their way home from work because they didn't want to take time away from their jobs to see a family physician during the 9 to 5 day. And acute care is the highest cost to the system.

I met a nurse from BC last week who claimed nurses in Saskatchewan get paid far more than nurses in her province. And I've met family physicians who claim doctors in other provinces earn more than doctors in Saskatchewan. I don't know if this is true. But I do think we have to become a little more realistic on salaries for health care professionals and support employees.

One of the proudest elements of being Canadian is our tax-funded health care. It is comforting to know that regardless of your financial circumstances you will receive necessary medical attention. It is worth preserving.

So how to we get our politicians to quit playing games with the system? Instead of fear-mongering that any one party is out to destroy medicare should they discuss possibilities to change or improve it, all parties should sit down and find solutions. Rather than panning one proposal, come up with another.

I am convinced simply throwing more money at the system leaves it in peril. It is the negative side-effect to this prescription.

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