No need to choose between lower taxes and health care

Failings of the health system are not due to chronic underfunding

No need to choose between lower taxes and health careIf Quebec voters have one concern during the current election campaign, and just about every election campaign for decades now, it’s the health-care system. Contrary to what many commentators have been claiming for years, the failings of the health system are not due to “chronic underfunding.” For this reason, the notion that lower taxes would…

Bureaucracy may be necessary, but it is never harmless

There is nothing that bureaucracy cannot make worse

Bureaucracy may be necessary, but it is never harmlessBureaucracy begats bureaucracy, building its own demand and transforming people into managers designed to meet bureaucratic needs. A bureaucracy designed to serve patients ends up serving its creators instead and protects those who work inside. Economist William Niskanen offered a definition of bureaucracies in his book Bureaucracy and Representative Government. Roughly speaking, he says, 1)…

Health care user fees promote equity and efficiency

Offer a small step to solving overconsumption and waste

Health care user fees promote equity and efficiencyTwenty-eight countries have universal healthcare. Twenty-two of them have some form of cost sharing. User fees offer one example. User fees work best as a small, flat fee paid at the point of service. Even a few dollars discourage (rational) people from booking an appointment for what they asked twice previously. User fees shorten the line…

Hospital woes continue to mount – nothing new here

More money won’t solve the systemic, pervasive, and structural issues that plague Canadian health care

Hospital woes continue to mount – nothing new hereHospital staffing in Ontario is in crisis – as it is in Alberta, British Columbia, and the rest of Canada. Provinces are responding with what they perceive as solutions: Ontario is fast-tracking foreign-trained nurses, and Alberta has made the interprovincial movement of professionals easier. But while these moves will help reduce the red tape surrounding…

Canadian health care at a crossroads

It’s time to stop talking about money and start talking about changing health care

Canadian health care at a crossroadsIt has been a revealing week for Canadian health care and what we have witnessed is not good. In Fredericton, NB, a senior passed away while waiting for care at a hospital emergency department. A witness noted that the man was “clearly in discomfort,” yet it wasn’t enough to gain the attention of health-care workers.…

Why Canada can’t reform its ailing health care system

Government, medical professionals, and public-sector unions each hold veto power over any innovation

Why Canada can’t reform its ailing health care systemThe Honorable Monique Begin wrote in 2009, “When it comes to moving health care practices forward efficiently, Canada is a country of perpetual pilot projects.” Governments need “financial control” and remain “leery” of committing to programs. Pilot programs are easy to shut down “to avoid criticism” or if “budget priorities shift.” At first glance, we…

Excess sugar costs Canada $5 billion each year: study

Researchers urge use of taxation, education and subsidies to encourage better eating habits

Excess sugar costs Canada $5 billion each year: studyImagine if the real cost to society of the food you buy at the grocery store was built right into each product’s price. Everything with added sugar would cost a whole lot more, according to University of Alberta researchers in a new study in The Canadian Journal of Public Health. They peg the economic burden of excessive…

Time to cure what ails Canada’s health-care systems

Health reform has been talked about enough

Time to cure what ails Canada’s health-care systemsThe need to reform Canada’s health-care systems has long been a hot topic of debate. After all, Canada is an easy target: It has one of the highest price tags among countries with universal health systems in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, but its performance has lagged for years. The effect of the…

Canada’s health care system one of the worst in the world

Canada ranks dead last in timely care, with the longest waitlists

Canada’s health care system one of the worst in the worldThe coronavirus hit Canada in March 2020. By the time that first wave had subsided in the summer, hundreds of thousands of scheduled surgeries had been postponed. But before that huge backlog could be reduced, a second and then a third wave of the virus struck, increasing the backlog by thousands more. Adding to the…

How to get Canada off the health care teeter-totter

Medicare struggles from funding thrown at the same tired ideas rooted in similar political traditions

How to get Canada off the health care teeter-totterLiberalism works when you are healthy but fails when you fall ill. Classical liberalism emphasizes autonomy, individual freedom, and free markets. These ideas have fuelled centuries of wealth and prosperity. Modern liberalism, in contrast, pursues central decision-making and equality of outcome. Despite similar names and obvious differences, neither type of liberalism provides arguments for everything…

How to improve health care and reduce costs

Health-care costs for seniors are rising. Privatized care can help manage this demand surge

How to improve health care and reduce costsBy Gauree Chawla Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy COVID-19 has left a gaping hole in Quebec’s health-care system. Lack of nursing personnel, testing shortages, overflooding hospitals and postponed surgeries have turned Quebec’s health care into complete chaos. “We must invest in the health-care system, which is in the process of crumbling,” argues Quebec…

Canada can’t afford its current approach to health care

How long will Canadian patients put up with substandard treatment?

Canada can’t afford its current approach to health careAs the third wave of the COVID recedes in Canada, watch for the resumption of an old debate about the impact on patients of delayed procedures and treatments. On one side, hospitals, medical associations, and labour unions will point to the many patients who endured cancelled care. On the other, with apologies to Burke, economists…

Long health-care wait times hurt Canadians in many ways

COVID-19 has exacerbated the problem but it’s not the primary cause of our wait-time crisis

Long health-care wait times hurt Canadians in many waysBy Mackenzie Moir and Bacchus Barua The Fraser Institute With a full year of life with COVID-19 behind us, and the hope of mass vaccination on the horizon, it’s time for policy-makers to refocus some of their attention on our other health-care crisis – long wait times for medical care. Although the number of patients…

How Canada botched its campaign for vaccines

The proven determinants of scientific progress – collaboration, a plan, guaranteed funding, transparency – are nowhere to be found

How Canada botched its campaign for vaccinesThe Human Genome Project (HGP) stands as one of mankind’s most remarkable achievements. Its significance is easily equal to, or even eclipses, James Watson and Francis Crick’s discovery of DNA’s helical structure, or Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. The goal was to determine the position and function of the more than 100,000 genes…

U of A spinoff, U.S. firm merge to commercialize transplant technology

Bridge to Life commits US$10 million to clinical trial and commercial development of Tevosol Ex-Vivo Organ Support System

U of A spinoff, U.S. firm merge to commercialize transplant technologyUniversity of Alberta spinoff company Tevosol has merged with the U.S.-based medical technology company Bridge to Life, bringing its game-changing organ transplant devices a step closer to approval, manufacture and global distribution. While Tevosol will remain based in Edmonton, Bridge to Life has committed US$10 million to a multi-centre clinical trial and commercial development of Tevosol’s Ex-Vivo Organ Support…
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