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Why should a corporation try to make a profit on someone's misery and misfortune?
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The Fraser Institute has annually surveyed specialist physicians across Canada to estimate how long patients wait for treatment. Our latest survey found that in 2016, overall, patients were waiting 20 weeks between referral to treatment - the longest wait in our survey's history and 115 per cent longer than in 1993.
Pfizer has been the subject of controversies relating to its pricing and tax practices.
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Researchers on both sides of the border are trying to figure out why there's such a dramatic survival gap between the two countries.
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Canadians aged 55 and older were the second most likely among comparable countries to stop filling their prescriptions in 2014 because of cost.
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Understandably, prescription drug coverage only becomes a concern for many individuals when they can't access the drugs they need because of cost. If you haven't personally experienced problems with drug coverage, there is a high probability that your child, friend or loved one has.
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Shorter waits for hip-fracture repair, and eight out of 10 Canadians receiving "priority procedures" within government-defined benchmarks. Sounds pretty good, right? However, these highlights from the Canadian Institute of Healthcare Information's annual update of Wait Times for Priority Procedures in Canada are little more than feel-good distractions from the real story.
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The Canadian propensity for self-aggrandizement is in form these days. It started with the massive coverage of the arrival of Syrian refugees at Pearson International Airport in December. While many were drowning in self-congratulations, all I could think about was a scene from Woody Allen's 1973 film, Sleeper.
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We desperately need universal coverage for a full array of health care goods and services -- pharmaceuticals, mental health services, home care and out-of-hospital diagnostics. Canada is unique among OECD countries in the paucity of what it covers on a universal basis despite falling in the top quartile of countries in levels of per capita health spending.
Given all the growing research evidence on alternative therapies I wonder if our current medical system is old. Both the insurance companies and the government have not kept up with time. These services are scientifically studied to help, so is this truly a universal health care?
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"Don't touch my free health care," is a common refrain from defenders of the status quo whenever anyone broaches the topic of reforming Canada's health-care system. While politicians and interest groups no doubt share a portion of the blame for perpetuating the myth of a $0 price tag for health care in Canada, their ability to carry public opinion with them stems from the murky manner in which health care is funded.
The dismantling of our emblematic health care system is happening beneath our very noses. We are assured that it is in or best interests, and that corporate, multi-tiered health care, like corporate globalization, is inevitable. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each promise about corporate healthcare is false. Comprehensive documentation shows that a "two tier" system is inferior to a universal publicly funded system, by any measure.
MONTREAL - Two items often held up as cornerstones of Canadian values -- the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and universal health care -- are tops among things that help unite the country, according to...
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Those opposed to market-based health care reform do their best to scare Canadians. Reality, however, is considerably different. International experience suggests that private competition is a fundamental feature of a high-performing, universal access health care system. For evidence, consider the Dutch health care system where private (and even for-profit) insurance companies, private providers, activity-based funding and cost sharing combine to provide more timely access to high (if not higher) quality care than Canada's system for similar cost.
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Since 1993, the average wait for treatment has almost doubled, per capita public healthcare expenditures have increased by about 40 per cent, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that patients are suffering the consequences. And yet, there is no real indication that politicians intend to introduce meaningful reforms to solve this problem.
According to neo-con politicians, union bosses and their minions, as well as public servants, and public institutions, are the causes of our economic woes, even as these are some of the few remaining polities that mitigate the damages caused by predator capitalism. Two of Canada's "emblematic" institutions, currently being undermined so that they can be replaced by inferior models, are "universal" health care, and Canada Post.
Canadian taxpayers are not receiving the same sort of value that their counterparts in other nations are when it comes to universally accessible health care. In fact, Canadians spend much more for their health care and receive lower quality care than other countries with universal-access systems.
Why do so many doctors still think they are invincible to the influence of the pharmaceutical industry? Attractive, well-dressed, charismatic drug reps with pearly smiles and shiny flow charts still wait in waiting rooms. Lectures and conferences still occur where lunch is paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. Canada has banned the use of TV, print and radio advertising of drugs directly to consumers because we recognize that this information should come from unbiased sources. Why then do we allow so much drug promotion to physicians? As a medical community, we have to say no to pharmaceutical influences on our practice.
There are very few things in life that simultaneously fill you with both cynicism and exhilaration like the American presidential election. And 2012 is certainly no exception. As the election cycle draws to a close, here's a look back at some of the most valuable insights from the year.
Many Canadians have developed an insidious culture of self-satisfaction that comes with being told repetitively by politicians and media that we have "the best health care system in the world." We have somehow taken this patent lie as a slice of authentic Canadiana. It makes us feel good, safe and comfortable.
But you don't have a "comprehensive and universal" system if it takes two years to get a hip replaced, or eight months to get an MRI after a hard knock to the head. How can we keep a straight face and call our system a caring and "universal" one if many have no where to go?
The Canadian Medical Association's 145th annual meeting is taking place this week. The mantra of the meeting is health equity, and Sir Michael Marmot, the white knight of social determinants, undoubtedly provides the human and scholarly element the issue of inequality deserves. There may be no better person to articulate Canada's barriers to better health outcomes.
As noted in a recent report by the Canadian Medical Association, Canadians are demanding health system reform now more than they ever have before--and seem to be coalescing around a "moral imperative" to create a system that will be sustainable for years to come.
There is little agreement on how best to move forward, especially when it comes to the thorny issue of funding.
The American healthcare debate is not a debate for Americans only. In two ways at least, the debate implicates the well-being of everybody in the developed world. More money spent on healthcare means less money for drug innovation -- a U.S. speciality that services the world. It also means less money for American defence -- something U.S. allies might be less than pleased with.
Because when Americans talk about today's health costs, they are also talking about tomorrow's defense budget -- the budget that protects us all from a world of dangers.
There is no single reform that is going to make medicare work better. But there is a general approach that would be useful. And that alternative approach recognizes the limitations of centralized planning and the need to allow more private money and leadership into the system.
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Last night I dreamt of Jack Layton. We talked about the messy, unpredictable vulnerability of all these human bodies we walk around in. And that surely, fair and equitable access to care for these bodies is essential to a just, humane and democratic society.
By eliminating the waste inherent in private insurance and by improving therapeutic choices, implementing universal Pharmacare could save Canadians billions of dollars a year.
Many worry that the Harper government will take this moment to fundamentally change the nature of health care delivery in Canada, giving more authority to the provinces but finding ways to download the fiscal responsibility at the same time.