Saturday, November 26, 2011

For-profit healthcare

After my radio interview, I've had several e-mail asking for help.
The issue with Canada is that each province handles healthcare differently.
In the US, each state has its own laws.

There are two areas in which Canada is vastly different from the US: education and healthcare.

In my post-career work as a healthcare advocate, I have seen how American pharmaceuticals have influenced healthcare policy in the US. I have witnessed how private health insurance in the US means that the poor suffer, while the rich can pay for insurance plans. How different it is in Canada, where, in theory, universal healthcare is a state-granted right.

Some of the healthcare policies, such as Alberta permitting concierge healthcare, is a concern. We move into dangerous territory where profits trump the philosophy of universal healthcare.
In Ontario, we outsource many services to for-profit agencies; Red Cross, VON, and smaller firms.
CCAC determines the Home Care a newly discharged ALC or hospital patient will receive.
They hire outside agencies, who compete for contracts through RFPs, to send personal support workers and nurses into people's homes. This seems to make sense, in that CCAC, and Ontario's provincial government hasn't the money to organize the 5,000 workers Bayshore hires across Canada. Their profits determine pay scales, and wages. 

In certain situations, when nursing staff are depleted, or vacation season drains staff levels, many employers will call in other agencies. For example, a long-term care, which pays a salary, and often carries sick leave and provides PD to regular staff, may call in a nurse or personal support worker (PSW) on a short shift. Short shifts are the thorn in the side of healthcare. Residents and patients need continuity, and staff need to rely on sick leave. There simply aren't the number of nurses and PSWs available to meet needs. And if those with money can afford to pay more for private nursing, we drain the supply.

Bayshore Healthcare Ltd. is a private company categorized under Visiting Nurse Service and located in Mississauga, ON, Canada. Current estimates (2011) show this company has an annual revenue of $452,316,800.

Bayshore Home Health is Canadian owned and operated, since 1966. They are the country's largest provider of home and community health care services, with more than 50 home care offices, 20 community care clinics and 8,000 employees. They deliver care to more than 70,000 clients annually.

They offer nursing, personal care, home support and companionship services privately, as well as through government care programs (e.g., Ontario's CCAC Home Care), personal and group insurance plans and workplace safety insurance.

They provide nurse/caregiver staffing services, health education programs and treatments in community dialysis centres. Their subsidiary, Bayshore Specialty Rx, delivers a wide range of infusion pharmacy, infusion clinic and pharmaceutical support services to health care and pharmaceutical organizations.

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