Friday, January 13, 2006

It's none of your business how I spend my money

Lengthening, not shortening, the health care queue is the plan of action favoured by the Statists of Ontario, as illustrated by the responses to the announcement by an entrepreneur from British Columbia that he has plans to open up much needed private clinics in Ontario, including London. Cries of 'evil capitalist' reverberate throughout the media - it's somehow "just not right" to permit free exchange when it comes to health care.

A few responses, beginning with George Smitherman, who plans to do everything legally within his power to run 'elitist' clinics out of his domain.

George Smitherman, the province's Health Minister, promised to keep a close eye on the offices, but said it was too early to determine if they violated any law.

Mr. Smitherman said patients should not have to pay some sort of access fee to receive government-insured services.

"On a number of these points obviously we have some concerns," the Minister said.

"We are going to watch very, very closely as these plans unfold."
Citizens desiring service from private clinics are not forced to pay for better care. They don't have to pay if they don't want to, and are thus free to remain in the public waiting line. If a person finds he gains by spending the extra money, that is simply that person's choice and only has bearing on his personal finances and those of the service providers. Services and procedures presently covered by the public plan will still be paid for by the province, so the prospective patient is paying for the added benefit of better and faster care, out of his own pocket. If an individual is willing to pay "access fees" that means that the current service they are receiving is substandard and inadequate - why else would you spend $2,300 in annual dues in addition to an initial fee when you could have it all for FREEEEE?

NDP MPP Michael Prue ventures a little further than Slitherman, and says that if the existing law does not allow the province to shut the clinics down, new legislation should be passed to stop it:
"This is a man and an organization that is going to make money out of this, and that's what this is about," he said.

"This is not about providing better health care. This is about making more money."
And doctors are uninterested in making money? Is it to be believed that they practice out of the kindness of their hearts and expect no compensation for their talents and abilities? I guess Michael Prue refuses to collect his MPP salary and benefits because he wouldn't want to make money afterall. Evidentally, it's wrong to provide for yourself - that job is best left to the Government.

Finally, some union babble from Dawn Blenkhorn-Bax, local co-ordinator of Ontario Nurses Association Local 100:
Blenkhorn-Bax said such clinics also run the risk of drawing health-care professionals away from desperately short-staffed hospitals and nursing homes.

"I can guarantee you very few family physicians would receive $1,200 a year from a single patient through OHIP," she said.

[..] Blenkhorn-Bax said no matter how you look at it, Copeman's proposal will allow those who can afford it quicker access to health care -- something she says flies in the face of "the medicare system we as Canadians have worked so hard to keep and cherish."

She used the example of minor procedures such as cataract surgery and colonoscopies that can be done in a clinic setting.

"It means if you have the money, you can get your cataract surgery faster, and that's just not right."
Such socialists really don't understand the role of incentive in a healthy economy. Rather than reduce the number of doctors available, instead more doctors are likely to remain in Canada to practice and enrollment in medical schools bound to increase.

But it's just not right, because it takes power away from the state. The properly Canadian thing to do is suffer along equally with everyone else in line. There are people who don't have enough to eat, which is fundamental to survival - does it follow that the production and distribution of food should be taken over by the government?

3 comments:

Pietr said...

Lisa-of course doctors don't want to make money!
And people who do, don't want to be doctors.
That's why there aren't any doctors, except indentured bondsmen taken from the hell-holes of foreign despond.(They are grateful to be allowed to survive, physically).
(By the way, I think you'd get a lot more comments if the damn page didn't take five inutes to load, or having been stopped, refused to start again except from the beginning.)

Anonymous said...

You know as well as I do that these private clinics take away from the public system in that there leaves no incentive to then fix the public system. The liberals and conservatives worked together, federally and provincially, over the last 13 years to tear money out of the system and then everyone stands back and says: See? It doesn't work!!! HORSE DOO DOO. And then there's all this phone fear mongering: WAIT TIMES, WAIT TIMES! OH NO THE SKY IS FALLING!! Where the system is broken is in family doctors, and maybe in wait times for NON-CRITICAL scans and procedures. But for anything critical or serious pain, come on and stop misleading people with YOUR outdated Dickensian ideology (If you want to talk outdated ideologies, then yes, the world has changed and moved on). I have recieved nothing but the best health care myself, and I have two elderly parents who have recieved nothing but the best in care, and I just don't see what you're talking about - even WITH the money that's been stolen from the system. The author of this propoganda also reveals either their ignorance or their outright dishonesty, as medical school enrollment is not determined by market demand ("...instead more doctors are likely to remain in Canada to practice and enrollment in medical schools bound to increase"). Medical school enrollment is supply-side controlled by the OMA and CMA in conjunction with the schools and governments. The medical associations are basically lobby groups that want to keep supply down for obvious reasons, and they donate heavily to the parties. Ask yourself this: Why are seats in medical schools so limited in number, especially since they get 20 or 30 times the applications for the number of open seats? It's not because people aren't clamouring to get into med school, because the fact is that they are. It's still a very lucrative and highly respected profession. And it's not because these applicants are not qualified. I could solve your doctor shortage in just a few years by just increasing the number of seats. Don't give me this horsesh*t about med school seats being demand driven. Yes we can look at the Euro model, but what about using OUR model as an example. Return the money that was stolen out of the system in the first place and THEN tell me how it works. But I guess that would be forthright and just the plain truth, and we wouldn't want that would we.

James said...

"If a person finds he gains by spending the extra money, that is simply that person's choice and only has bearing on his personal finances and those of the service providers."

Such capitalists simply don't understand the role of doctors within the Canada Health Act. I have never seen such a naive view of how free market competition affects services.

Copeman clinics and similar competitive medical businesses, if allowed to follow the present business model, will begin to compete with each other for customers and turn healthcare into nothing more than a commodity.

If you honestly favour the market dictating service, then you have no sympathy for those who cannot afford the extra care their clinic membership will buy them. This is only about doctors wanting a share of an extra fee (paid by those who can afford it) that has nothing to do with actual services rendered. In other words a second level of service for user fees - something that whether you like it or not contravenes the Canada Health Act.