Tuesday, June 14, 2005


There's little the Minister can do, but am I ever glad he's impatient (from Canadian Press, Health minister grilled over long waits for medical care, offers no promise of quick relief).
Last fall's $41-billion health accord requires provinces to report substantial progress in cutting wait times by March 2007.


Under the federal-provincial health accord, bench marks for measuring wait times will be released at the end of this year. The provinces are required to report substantial progress in reducing wait times by March 31, 2007.
Michael Decter, chairman of the Health Council of Canada [mandated to monitor and report on the progress of health care renewal in Canada], said in an interview the problem won't be solved until the country has enough doctors, nurses and technicians to actually deliver the care that's needed.

"The only two ways to get faster access are to have more people delivering care or have faster delivery of care by the same people, i.e. productivity. I expect we need to do both. We need to bolster the work force and we need to find ways to give them the tools to do the job better."
To re-ask Mr. Decter's question, why does it have to take so long?

If a province allows private care, and reports substantial progress in reducing wait times, does that count? Yes, yes, there are horror stories about private care: we don't want to be Americanized, we don't want to have doctors offering services privately while letting the poor suffer. But, to not even entertain a discussion, is ridiculous.

Can we wave a magic wand and grow more personnel? I'd suspect that if we had the available resources they'd be already at work.

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