Canadian Politics from Canada's Centre

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Waiting Lists Reduction Policies and Thoughts on Health Care

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I was googling policy issues and came across this progressive think tank. They have posted the policy suggestions of Dr. Michael Rachlis, regarding wait lists for our health care system.
Dr. Rachlis is an advocate of public health care, and is opposed to increasing the availability of private health care. His main idea is that waiting times aren't due to lack of capacity, but rather mismanagement of lines, and backlogs. The gist of his idea is to modify the flow of patients in our public services. Just like a 4 lane highway with capacity for hundreds of may experience a bottleneck when public works takes over a stretch of 2 or 3 lanes for a few hundred meters, our public health system can deal with our medical needs, it's just not flowing people properly from one part of the system to another.
For example, his idea would offer a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy all in one day, rather than having a person worried about potential breast cancer wait for each procedure.
I advise anyone with an interest in solving the wait times issue to read Rachlis' policy proposal.
It isn't the whole solution. We need more doctors, for example, in Quebec. Our government caps their earnings, and imposes all sorts of dreadful limitations though, and so though Rachlis proposes solutions helpful to Canada as a whole, there are particular issues specific to each province and territory which he doesn't address (rightfully so; he's writing a policy proposal for Canada, not for Quebec or PEI).
In addition, like Einstein said: Smart people offer solutions. Wise people avoid the problem. We're hardly doing anything to lighten the load on our health care system, which would obviously lighten the load from the other end of things. Portion sizes are a particular concern, as report after report shows more and more Canadians growing overweight and/or obese.
Rachlis is smart, but we also need wisdom.

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