PUTTING PATIENTS FIRST
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.
Browse more articles on Health Issues