NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 11, 2008

Canada has a health care system where everything revolves around the system.  When Medicare was introduced it was supposed to be a floor, meaning no one would suffer because they didn't have access to necessary healthcare.  What it has evolved into is a ceiling where no one is allowed better health care than what the government will give them, says Dr. Brian Day, an orthopedic surgeon and ex-president of the Canadian Medical Association.

Instead, patients need to be put at the center of this universe and everything else should revolve around them.  According to Day, under a system of patient-centered care:

  • The patient would, first of all, be looked at as the consumer of healthcare; when you go to any institution, you need to be looked upon as a valued asset, and that's what is missing from the way patients are treated now.
  • The patient would be seen quickly, diagnosed quickly and treated quickly.
  • Hospitals would switch from block-funding to money-follows-the-patient funding; thus, creating competition between private and public companies and competition between the different public hospitals.

Moreover, a patient-centered care system might help keep the 1,500 young Canadians who are forced to leave the country to go to medical school in the country.   There are only between 7 and 8 medical school entry spots for every 100,000 Canadians.

Further, when we call for a patient-centered system, we are really calling for a system that exposes itself to more market influences.  It empowers the patient, empowers the public and will move Canada forward, says Day.

Source: "Putting Patients First," excerpts Dr. Brian Day's speech given at the Fraser Institute's "Behind the Spin" speaker series (Vancouver, BC, September 2008), Fraser Forum, October 2008.


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