2006/02/15

B.C. wants changes to medicare

The B.C. government indicated in its Throne speech that it wants changes to the Canada Health Act to make medicare more sustainable. The government said it will start a "provincewide conversation" on how to protect the public-health system over the long term.

The speech posed a series of questions that suggest its direction:

"Does it really matter to patients where or how they obtain their surgical treatment if it is paid for with public funds?" asked Lt.-Gov. Iona Campagnolo on behalf of Premier Gordon Campbell's Liberal government.

"Why are we so afraid to look at mixed health care delivery models," when they work in Europe?

"Why are we so quick to condemn any consideration of other systems as a slippery slope to an American-style system that none of us wants?"

The Premier and Health Minister will tour several European countries to learn how they're transforming their health-care systems.

Even though British Columbia has the best health care in the country according to research by the Conference Board of Canada, people are dissatisfied with long waiting lists and other problems, while the needs of the aging Baby Boom generation and the rising costs of drugs and technology are creating a cost crunch.

The provincial government said that but the Canada Health Act needs to be updated.

"Your government will advance that goal in Ottawa and here in B.C.," says the speech. "It will lead an extensive discussion with British Columbians to guide this assembly in furthering fundamental health reform within its mandate."

The government wants to add to the Canada Health Act's principles to provide universal, accessible, comprehensive, portable and publicly administered care a sixth principle— "the principle of sustainability."

While it is not clear what this means in practice, it is clear that the provincial government has opened the Pandora's box of reforming the healthcare system.

For more, go to the Globe and Mail .

2 comments:

Dipper said...

Will Stephen Harper stand up for the principles of the Canada Health Act as he promised during the election, or will he lead us now the slippery to the American healthcare quagmire? B.C. has joined Alberta in throwing down the gauntlet.

Candace said...

dipper, have you lived in BC? My daughter had an emergency - she stepped on burning coals buried in the sand at the beach.

They gave her codeine while she waited at Children's Hospital - for 3 hours for 2nd & almost 3rd degree burns.

Typical mental health care in BC here

And S is still at home. Absolutely nothing has changed, but you want PM Stephen Harper to support this sort of abuse?

For shame.