Friday, September 17, 2004 - News

I decided to include this page to make mention of the fact that the health accord is now off the front pages. We have solved Canada's health problem. Hallelujah, now we can deal with what's really important like the hockey strike.

I've been thinking about the health accord, the plan to save the Healthcare system in Canada. I'm glad to read that Roy Romanow sees it as a set in the right direction. However I get the feeling there is still a lot of work to do. You see we have a program that is taking a lot of money but providing less and less. On one hand you hear that the provinces are spending more of their budget dollars on health care, which means they're either increasing taxes or cutting back other programs. Which ever means there is a problem. However, what is being provided is less. There are waiting lines, there are shortages of staff, but it's costing more and more.

There are intrinsic problems that may require more then just throwing money at it, and hope it goes away. What is the problem is the question, and perhaps if we could face this problem we could come to the answer. Here's what I hear and wonder about, they say that people are living longer and longer and procedures are becoming more technical, read expensive. With people living longer the potential for expensive sickness increases. Then there is the worry about the baby boomer, when we all turn 70+ are we simply going to swamp the system. It's like pensions, the huge baby boom generation is coming. Yet, when you think about it, this is the time to save for that future, after all the baby boomers are all in their 40's and 50's closing in on 60's. This same group is at their prime earning ages and so that means more disposable income which in turn means more taxes. Plus with the huge number of babyboomers plus the busters plus the gen-x'er means there's a whole lot of people paying into the system you would think there would be no problem. Yet we have a problem.

Perhaps part of it, and this has been discussed by others. It is too institutionalized. By this it means too hospital oriented. Hospitals are expensive to operate and so the rationale is to put all services into the hospital, such as MRI and Labs. But to do all this requires people, lots and lots of people. So expenses are up and this requires more funding. If anything goes wrong, you still have this behemoth consuming the income but not providing the services.

I think the most important part of the recent agreement is the transparency with every province but Quebec. This is part of the asymetrical federalism that is Canada. That means by the way that the rules don't apply to Quebec. So you got to know this is just waiting to be a problem.

I think I'm going to sleep on it and come up with the perfect solution tomorrow.


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