For six years the Ministry of Health has known that ePrescribe has, at little cost, saved lives and improved patient care. Sadly, it is but one of the many examples of the incredible waste and mismanagement of the health care system. Small dedicated investments are avoided, in order to create bigger projects such as the current medication management system, that cost exponentially more, but more importantly, provide jobs for bureaucrats. The fact that patients won't be helped is not relevant.
While governments such as Ontario have been focusing on reducing or holding physician fees steady as a cost control measure, health-care spending is also affected by the overall number of physicians we have and the number of services each provides to their patients.
It was another tumultuous week in Ontario, as the province's seemingly never-ending battle with its physicians continued. The grand Hoskins scheme now seems to be to sow discord amongst physicians so they fight amongst themselves. He knows that if physicians unite against Bill 210, as they did against the tPSA, he will never be able to succeed in implementing his plans.
These are challenging times for physicians, governments and patients. We need to have peace and we need to rebuild trust in order to improve the health system in Ontario and the health of our patients. After 18 months of scorched earth tactics we are open to trying something different.
I believe the public should know how taxes are spent. More importantly, the public should know their money is wisely spent. With physician billings, though, I think we're chasing the wrong number. Billings are a crude, misleading measure of value for money. In isolation, they cannot and do not tell the story we need to hear.
In case you think I'm asking you for more money for health care, I'm not. The $51 billion currently budgeted is enough, it just needs to be spent more efficiently. There will be significant immediate cost savings from cutting the bureaucratic bloats. But will this be enough to get you the election win you so badly desire in 2018?
While I agree the situation is complex, the main reason that younger family physicians are taking fewer patients has nothing to do with either a lack of dedication or desire to help their patients, but rather that medicine has become far more complex in the past 30 years.
Eric Hoskins has taken the position that the health care needs a "system transformation." I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. However, rather than get to work on meaningful transformation, he has elected to play politics instead. The result will be a continuance of uncertainty and compromised health care for all Ontarians.
It is not surprising that many Canadians are concerned about the dangers of the new assisted suicide and euthanasia bill, C-14. What is really not credible is how the word-benders who used the Charter "right to life" to legalize the intentional suicide or killing of some patients are now protesting that they have been cheated of total victory.
Back in the mid-1990s, the Ontario Provincial Government found itself in a bitter dispute with Ontario physicians. Back then, the government tried to frame the dispute as one that was solely based on physician compensation. Fast forward to 2016.