Tone-deaf politicians ignore the realities of health care

Political expediency once again trumps the realities of fixing health care

Tone-deaf politicians ignore the realities of health careCanada’s health-care system continues to implode and fail Canadian patients at a catastrophic level. Systemic problems and staffing issues are overwhelming health care delivery, and people are dying from a lack of proper care. Daily news reports now relate the most egregious dysfunctions as patients sought help and instead found themselves in a chaotic system…

Why our health system treats Canadians poorly

Do we or the government own our bodies?

Why our health system treats Canadians poorlyFormer B.C. deputy minister of health Lawrie McFarlane’s July 24 commentary on the “Cambie Surgery Centre ruling” (a descriptive that ignores two cancer patients and three children who were co-plaintiffs) contained some valid commentary. The crisis we now face in our health system is there for all to see and observe. Notably, McFarlane offers no solutions.…

We must address the growing crisis of opioid-related deaths

Drug users are going to keep using, so a better route to saving lives is to ensure drugs are clean and safe

We must address the growing crisis of opioid-related deathsWe’re supposed to be merry and bright as we approach the holidays and the new year. This year, there are many reasons to be less cheerful and festive. We’ve managed to make it through floods, fires and heat domes, but the pandemic persists with the Omicron mutation, inflation threatens our economy and the big, ugly…

The new normal is not so normal after all

We have learned nothing from the recent past

The new normal is not so normal after allThe new normal. It's a phrase that trips lightly off the lips. But, is the new normal actually something that has changed our behaviour? I don't think so. The new normal implies that the restrictions and practices of the last year and a half have changed the way we live and move. It implies that…

What happens when a hospice rejects medical assistance in dying?

‘This is about the B.C. government destroying a sanctuary for dying patients who want the choice to stay in a facility where MAID is not offered’

What happens when a hospice rejects medical assistance in dying?You might think the middle of a global pandemic is less than an ideal time to disrupt the operations of a hospice where palliative care patients receive comfort as they approach death. If so, you would not share the apparent thinking of the B.C. government or its local Fraser Health Authority, which is forcing layoffs…

Sex is okay, just don’t sing

Sex advice for pandemic prevention makes as much sense as implementing a security system while leaving the front door open

Sex is okay, just don’t singThe B.C. Centre for Disease Control threw logic out the window with its “COVID-19 and Sex” advice. The document reveals contradiction, ignorance and hypocrisy. “If you’re feeling fine and have no symptoms of COVID-19, you can still have sex. If you’re feeling sick, skip sex,” it says. Thanks. “Not tonight, I have a headache,” is…

Palliative care suffers because of MAID

Delta Hospice Society has been locked in a lengthy fight with the health authority and the B.C. government, and has now lost its funding

Palliative care suffers because of MAIDDirectors of a Vancouver-area hospice are considering their legal options after the B.C. government abruptly yanked its funding because it doesn’t permit medical assistance in dying (MAID) on the premises. And an Ottawa lawyer engaged by the Delta Hospice Society says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix is simply wrong to claim the facility’s refusal to…

Health authority threatens to shut down hospice for not providing assisted suicide

Health authority threatens to shut down hospice for not providing assisted suicideOver the past three decades, a small palliative care hospice in suburban Vancouver has raised millions of dollars and provided hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours to benefit British Columbia’s health system. Now, the Delta Hospice Society must drop its refusal to provide medical assistance in dying (MAID) for qualifying patients in its care. Or…

Patients deserve access to timely medical care

The B.C. government’s claim in the court challenge to medicare that waiting lists don’t harm patients is nothing short of ridiculous

Patients deserve access to timely medical careAfter years of political debate and public frustration, it seems the future of Canadian health care may now depend on the outcome of a decade-long legal battle that’s now in the hands of a B.C. Supreme Court justice. The plaintiffs are Dr. Brian Day, the private Cambie Surgery Centre and four British Columbians who have…

Before implementing national pharmacare, look at what provinces already offer

Instead of using scarce health-care dollars broadly, we should identify and support those Canadians falling through the cracks

Before implementing national pharmacare, look at what provinces already offerModern medicines can improve health outcomes and quality of life for those stricken with illness. As a result, policy-makers and ordinary Canadians are understandably concerned about patient access, affordability and insurance coverage for prescrip­tion drugs. However, recent calls for a national pharmacare program would have many believe that Canadians without private drug insurance – about…

Average workers will ultimately pay B.C.’s new payroll tax

Health tax will reduce wages and job opportunities, and further erode the province’s investment climate

Average workers will ultimately pay B.C.’s new payroll taxBy Charles Lammam and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute B.C. Finance Minister Carole James called Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums “unfair” and argued in a news release that her government’s replacement Employer Health Tax (EHT) is a “much fairer and progressive approach.” More broadly, Premier John Horgan government’s rhetoric about the new tax suggests it…

Ottawa’s rules make health care worse

We’ve seen decades of policy paralysis, with provinces constantly under threat of penalty for exploring policy options

Ottawa’s rules make health care worseBy Bacchus Barua and Nadeem Esmail The Fraser Institute What makes health care in our country uniquely Canadian? It’s certainly not the goal to ensure universal access to care regardless of ability to pay. That goal is shared by at least 28 other high-income countries around the world. It’s certainly not that our universal health-care…

Private care is an essential part of an effective health system

We should stop demonizing private clinics – and the patients who need them – and recognize that they're part of the solution

Private care is an essential part of an effective health systemLast month, on the heels of a new threat from the British Columbia government to fine doctors who accept private payment for treatment already covered by the government-run health-care system, a trial – initiated more than seven years ago by a private Vancouver clinic led by Dr. Brian Day – resumed. Day, a former head…

Seniors migration costs B.C. $7.2 billion in health-care expenses

Migrating seniors are likely to have paid most of their lifetime taxes in one province while consuming most of their health care in another

Seniors migration costs B.C. $7.2 billion in health-care expensesBy Ashley Stedman and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute An imbalance in health-care funding caused by the migration of seniors is penalizing British Columbia’s taxpayers. Canada’s health-care system has lots of problems, including its comparatively high cost, long wait times and middling performance among universal health-care countries. One largely overlooked problem is how Canada’s financing…

Private health care isn’t the problem, it’s part of the solution

While some patients may be able to wait for treatment without suffering adverse consequences, many others may be in pain, unable to work or live full lives

Private health care isn’t the problem, it’s part of the solutionRecent news reports about private payments for medically-necessary procedures in British Columbia tell an important story about a group of desperate people who are being oppressed by those in power. But based on headlines castigating “double-dipping” doctors conducting “illegal” activities, one might mistakenly think that physicians are the antagonists in the story. The real oppressor,…