We know what works in health care: prevention, early identification, efficient treatment. Then, when all else fails, we need to be able to die with dignity. Too many suffer, in pain, undergoing useless treatments. We need sensible treatment plans, reasonable measures, and adequate pain medication. I believe that the healthcare system isn't broken, that we need give more respect to the physicians who are models of integrated healthcare, exemplary practices, Family Health Teams who serve rich and poor equally well.We also know that doctors call for too many tests. False positives, with no symptoms send families around the bend.
Too many dollars are spent in researching and fundraising, while those living in poverty do without.
We need patient advocates. We need more geriatricians. We need education and better trained healthcare personnel, such as Personal Support Workers, who are better able to provide front-line quality care.
We are short nurses in Canada. Too many working long hours and double shifts.
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There are questions we should ask:
When there are privately-funded choices for people, do those who rely solely on the public system get lower quality healthcare?
What are the measures? Wait times? Cancer survival rates?
More importantly, in those jurisdictions with a mix of public and private options, did the quality of healthcare for those who rely solely on the public system go up or down after a public component was introduced?
What if the quality of care for those who rely solely on the public system goes up, even though someone paying for additional services would arguably get better care than those relying solely on the public system?
Would that be morally and ethically acceptable?