Thursday, March 31, 2011

Concierge Healthcare and Canadian Federal Election 2011

It is up to voters to grill their candidates, and determine what they really believe about healthcare, and what their federal politicians ought to be doing for us. See for example:

CHPCA 2011 Federal Election Kit

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association has drafted and distributed its 2011 Federal Election Kit. This valuable resource for all those who wish to have their say on matters of palliative care during the current campaign can be downloaded and read in PDF format via the link below.

Where do we highlight the successes? Do politicians ever hear from a constituent who has had success in the system?
The healthcare system benefits many, and we must determine what is going right.
Randy Hillier (my MPP) says, "I'm surprised you found my comments insulting as they are only a reiteration of my observations. My office assists and receives a multitude of requests by constituents trying to access healthcare only to find a maze of restrictions, obstacles and confusion. Many end up traveling to the USA in order to get the services they urgently need."

 This is why I believe we need patient advocates , which is what we determined when I was a consultant for the Aging at Home strategy. The politicians do not believe in it. When you are old and sick, hard of hearing, stymied by doctors who are out-of-date, that is when you most need an advocate.

Those who go to the US are the upper and middle class, not people like me who cannot afford it. These are the people running off to the politicians who do not see the big picture. Politicians should be able to understand the system, but they create knee-jerk reactions, those in power, or act as opposition members to slam ALL actions of the incumbents.

Until taxpayers want more money invested in healthcare, we have to make decisions about whether to spend $40,000 on one person, or not. This could provide one PSW for months for one family. Most families qualify for a few hours at best.

Being involved in union politics, I've learned a bit about the beast, as well as family members being fairly keen on discourse on the topic.
This will be an interesting election, especially with many politicians on Twitter.
There are those who claim the system is broken. I totally disagree. There is much that we do well, much we do right for those in pain, whether rich or poor.
Some, like my local MPP, claim  "Hillier Condemns Wasteful Spending at South East LHIN". I mean, do we need bandaids, or surgery?

Health care top issue for Canadians: poll so says the Globe. 

I've been thinking and writing about this election. I've always drawn in my intermediate students, and used it as a learning opportunity.
I've come up with some questions voters need to consider. Yes, they are my bias, you should frame them from your own point of view.

Healthcare in Canada - questions for your candidates
Should US-based Pharmaceuticals be controlling access to generic drugs?
[Tony Clement urges senators to block generic-drug legislation]

Do you believe the media that the healthcare system is broken, or do you believe we must make physicians, ERs, hospitals, for-profit (and US-based) long-term care/retirement homes, more accountable and transparent?

Should we allow privatisation of healthcare, and a two or three-tier system?

Do you believe in concierge medial clinics that treat those who can afford it, limit patient loads, charge patients $3500/year for immediate access? 

Or should we institute Family Health Teams, as is done in Canada, with more Nurse Practitioners, especially in remote locations?

Should e-Health be a priority for Canada?

Concierge Healthcare

Visit White Coat Black Art: 
This week's show on concierge medicine generated a strong difference of opinion from you.  Provital Health and Wellness, based in Calgary is one such clinic. Provital charges paying patients an annual membership fee of $3500.  The high annual fee is usually justified on the basis that the fee pays for unlimited access to dieticians, massage therapists, psychologists and other health care workers whose services are generally not paid for by most provinces.

No comments: