Monday, May 2, 2011

What is concierge healthcare?

It is an American-style healthcare, in which physicians limit their practice. The family of physicians work somewhat like Ontario's Family Health Team model, but without the free access to all. They limit the number of patients, which reduces the number of physicians available for those without the extra $3000 to pay for a private physician.

My MPP wrote: Randy Hillier says, "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."

In fact, his angry constituents are going to the USA, where they can buy the healthcare they want, not need. Or to Mexico, where they can buy unproven Zamboni (CCSVI) treatments. 

He doesn't hear from my hospice clients who work within the system, stand in line with their friends and neighbours, get timely care from our ER, or from nurse practitioners in Family Health Teams.

The Family Health Team model [Ministry Of Health and Long-Term Care (Ontario's healthcare system)integrates a physician, with a nurse practitioner, an other professionals. It is a frightening bent towards privatization in the American model. I prefer the universal system where those who can afford to throw in $3000 ($5500 for a family), according to their tax return, can help pay for those who don't make enough money (working poor, those living in poverty) to pay taxes, are subsidized. 

According to Alberta's PrimeCAREHealth:
Any medical services normally covered under Alberta Healthcare are still paid for by Alberta Healthcare.    
Benefits Summary
  • Access to Physicians 24/7/365
  • Can often schedule same-day appointments
  • On-time appointments
  • Unrushed appointments with our undivided attention


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 $3000.  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.

Ministry Of Health and Long-Term Care (Ontario's healthcare system) - Family Health Teams

Family Health Teams are health care organizations that include a team of family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, dietitians, and other professionals who work together to provide health care for their community. Family Health Teams provide more service and a wide range of health options, especially for people who don’t have a doctor.

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