How to put Canadian health-care innovation into practice

It’s no easy feat in the often-intractable and rigid Canadian health system, but the payoff can be immense for patients and care providers

How to put Canadian health-care innovation into practiceBy Clare Liddy and Erin Keely University of Ottawa It all started when the two of us sat down over a cup of coffee. As a family physician and endocrinologist, we stand on opposite sides of a large chasm called patient wait times, and we both started seeing more and more of our patients swallowed…

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…

Many Canadians pay a great deal for ‘free’ health care

The amount we pay for health care through the tax system depends on family income and size

Many Canadians pay a great deal for ‘free’ health careBy Milagros Palacios and Bacchus Barua The Fraser Institute The fall federal election showed that politicians across the spectrum are happy to promise to spend more on our government-run health-care system. Whether the spending is for long-term care or pharmacare, the political solution to any health-care problem seems to be to pump more money into…

How do we decrease emergency room visits?

Canadians have the highest rates of emergency room visits among high-income countries. We need a better care model

How do we decrease emergency room visits?You get home after a long day at work and the cough that’s been bugging you just doesn’t seem to be letting up. Your muscles ache, you have chills and you hear a slight wheeze when you breathe out. Do you head to the local emergency department? A walk-in clinic? Or does your family doctor…

How healthy is our health-care system?

A recent report compares care across eight developed countries, including Canada. The results are edifying

How healthy is our health-care system?The Manhattan Institute – an American free-market think-tank – recently published a comparison of health care across eight developed countries. Looking at Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States, the analysis provides food for thought. Here are my takeaways. Role of government Governments in all eight countries are…

Health care wait lists make a mockery of the system

At its core, the problem is related to lack of funding. It's time for Ottawa to provide the necessary funds or launch full-scale medicare reform

Health care wait lists make a mockery of the systemMost Canadians think our health-care system is a national treasure and much superior to the American system, where poor people often don’t get the treatments they need and costs can be catastrophic. Instead of focusing on how Canada’s health-care system compares to America’s, we should be looking at European systems that offer better health outcomes…

Markets, lower taxes will ease health-care queues

The fundamental problem causing Canada’s health-care scarcity is a lack of private spending

Markets, lower taxes will ease health-care queuesWithout serious government course correction, Canada is headed for a health-care squeeze. The senior dependency ratio in Canada – the ratio of people 65 years and older relative to the working-age population (15 to 64 years old) – is projected to rise from 25 per cent today to around 40 per cent by 2042. And…

Universal health care in Canada? Not really

If you move from B.C. to Newfoundland, for example, you're likely to be denied coverage

Universal health care in Canada? Not reallySt. John’s sees the sunrise 4.5 hours before Victoria. This means Newfoundlanders are the first to see the light and British Columbians are the last. Unfortunately, some who leave the West Coast to study on the Rock get an unwelcome surprise. Students who arrive from other provinces are denied health coverage, as are their dependents…

Federal drug-pricing plan threatens access to new medicines

There’s no escaping the fact that discovering, developing and testing new drugs costs a lot of money

Federal drug-pricing plan threatens access to new medicinesBy Bacchus Barua and Steven Globerman The Fraser Institute It seems quite clear that the current Liberal administration wants the federal government to become the public insurer for prescription drugs, in part to contain drug costs. It’s a wrongheaded plan. In 2017, the government proposed changes to the way it limits drug prices in Canada.…

Quebec’s health-care privatization a lesson for the whole nation

But much still hinges on the outcome of the ongoing court case in B.C.

Quebec’s health-care privatization a lesson for the whole nationBy Amélie Quesnel-Vallée and Rachel McKay McGill University Ask a random Canadian if our health system looks more like that of the United States or the United Kingdom. Chances are, most will respond that our system is nothing like the U.S. – which is largely paid for privately – and every bit like the U.K.,…

Indigenous communities should tap into the medical tourism market

The James Smith Cree Nation could create what would be Saskatchewan’s first private-pay MRI facility

Indigenous communities should tap into the medical tourism marketA First Nation community about 70 kilometres southeast of Prince Albert, Sask., hopes to generate profit within five years from a private MRI clinic. The James Smith Cree Nation could create what would be the province’s first private-pay MRI facility. This became possible when the Saskatchewan government passed legislation in 2016 allowing for such facilities…

Medically assisted dying cases need stronger review to safeguard us all

The act of ending the life of another person raises fundamental questions of human dignity and rights

Medically assisted dying cases need stronger review to safeguard us allIn the early days of Canada’s public conversation about medical assistance in dying (MAID), Dr. Jeff Blackmer, then vice-president of the Canadian Medical Association, expressed the gravitas of the policy choices that lay ahead as “no less than a sea change” to the ethos and culture of the medical profession. That was in 2016, after…

Canada’s health system fails the elderly

Solving long hospital wait times requires a fundamental shift in the way we care for the elderly

Canada’s health system fails the elderlyBy David Wiercigroch University of Toronto and Caberry Weiyang Yu Queen's University Hospital overcrowding is not a new issue. Limited bed spaces have plagued Ontario hospitals for years and are increasingly straining our system. Not only are long wait times a shameful expectation when patients arrive in the emergency department, providing care in a busy…

The private cost of health-care queues in Canada

Our closed government-heavy system stands in stark contrast to other universal health-care systems that have shorter wait times

The private cost of health-care queues in CanadaIt’s no secret that Canadians face some of the longest health-care wait times in the developed world. According to the Fraser Institute’s annual survey of physicians, at 21.2 weeks from referral to treatment, Canadians waited longer in 2017 than ever before. And for some patients, wait times can have serious consequences. While this may be…

How to shorten hospital wait times in Canada

We can address the supply of surgical procedures, the demand for surgery and improve co-ordination within the system

How to shorten hospital wait times in CanadaLong wait times are the vulnerable soft underbelly of the Canadian health system. Canadians treasure our single-payer, publicly-funded program of physician and hospital care, virtually as a defining part of our national identity. And yet, increasing legal and political pressure over quick access to elective surgeries – cataract extraction and joint replacement, for example –…