Monday, February 25, 2008

Filmmaker Stuart Browning discusses the perils of public healthcare on Canadian National TV (CBC). You can watch it here.


Blogger Mike said...

In my opinion, the single worst aspect of the Canadian system is that it effectively makes all doctors employees of the government. No society has a right to do this to a profession that has no intrinsic intimate connection to the government (such as police officers). What Canada needs is an "Atlas Shrugged" moment where every halfway competent doctor applies for a visa to work in the United States.

I grew up watching family members terribly abuse their health insurance. They demand that it pay for every pill that their kids got, even when it was an antibiotic for a viral infection! These incidents didn't happen when the possible harm from a secondary infection was more than negligible, so that doesn't explain it either. Under a socialist system, these relatives of mine would have had no qualms about maximizing their well-being at the expense of society by taking their kids to get every single doctor's visit and rug they needed, even if it weren't necessary. These systems don't really control for such behavior, except by rationing care which screws everybody.

It's like the welfare state. It'd be a lot easier for opponents to tolerate if it made a concerted effort to actually police cases of abuse and have them prosecuted vigorously, instead of being just a tit for every dreg of society to exploit to their heart's content.

11:19 AM, February 25, 2008  
Blogger Ed said...

Here's the original documentary.

12:26 AM, February 26, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...


Private health insurance doesn't necessarily improve the situation. Within every population group you will find hypochondriacs, prescription drug addicts, people without much to do with their time, and those that really enjoy doctor's visits. Those groups get a thrill out of daily or weekly doctor's visits, but only if they have no out-of-pocket expenses. They will clog a publicly funded system AND a privately insured system. You can find these types in both the US and CANADA. They cost everyone billions. What is funny is that some many of these types actually have blogs to chronicle their every enjoyable visit to their doctors. I'd link a few of these blogs but they would probably make the hypochondriacs infuriated.

The only fair way out of health care system abuse is to make everyone pay a percentage of their healthcare.

10:21 AM, February 26, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

"The only fair way out of health care system abuse is to make everyone pay a percentage of their healthcare."

Not sure I follow you Cham. Would you elaborate on that point please?

I heard an idea that I think has merit, but I cannot recall the source. The idea was for all of us to pay for our own healthcare, no government or employer subsidy. We would all have access to a medical savings account and health care providers (like me) would post their fees. I would charge a bit more than average but see some folks for free as I do now.

The problem currently is that we as consumers are not aware of how much our insurance costs if our employer picks up some of it and we are not empowered consumers because we cannot comparison shop. And insurance is an expensive middle man.

I found out a couple of weeks ago that another psychologist in a smaller town who has less experience than I do (and is an obsessive shrew to boot) charges double what I do. Now I have a waiting list, but I was shocked that she charged private pay patients so much.

I support community subsidized healthcare for the truly disabled, and would do my share for them gladly. Clinics in Walgreens (they could be staffed by young docs paying off their student loand with public service)could take care of most of the people who now go to the emergency rooms. Strict triage should be practiced there, after awhile, people would not waste their time being turned away from the ER after 6 months.

For the elderly, we may need to move from giving someone 6 more months of life to focusing on palliative care which is less intrusive and certainly less expensive.

My father discontinued his chemotherapy to go home and die with his children and grandchildren around him. He said he wished he had done it sooner. With Hospice there, he was comfortable and had a wonderful death, with my sister and I holding his hands and singing as he left.

There are lots of things to be done, most of them that make sense for me involve more personal responsibility and less corporate diffusion of responsibility and accountability.


11:48 PM, February 27, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

tmink - I'm sure Cham is talking about a co-pay. Just you have to pay a certain percentage of the bill at the doctor's office, instead of the same amount each time, and the insurance pays the rest.

1:07 PM, February 28, 2008  

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