Friday, April 07, 2006

Canadian Health Care Ranked 2nd last

The repeated assertion by lefties that Ralph Klein’s as yet undelivered ‘Third Way’ approach to medicare must now die as aborted as the Premier’s reign reveals their woeful (deliberate?) ignorance of the failures of Canada’s government funded health care system, and their inherent self-interest in big government as an employer. Wednesday’s Edmonton Journal carried the news that in terms of lineups and terminally long waits, the Canadian government-funded health care system ranks LAST in a recent study. Last. Last. Last. Last.

The New York based Commonwealth fund, a private health research firm, studied patient surveys from six advanced countries, reviewing 51 indicators for quality of care. The U.S. was ranked first in Effectiveness, third in timeliness, and last in the other four categories. Canada was mostly ranked last or second last. The study was based on patient surveys divided into six categories: patient safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity. It should be noted that all six nations’ health care systems feature a mix of private and publicly funded services and facilities. The American’s have the least public funding, the Canadians the most. The countries in the study were, in terms of ranking:


2-New Zealand,

3-United Kingdom



6-United States.

I wish I could remember where, but I read recently that Healthcare spending is now the single biggest budget item for the provincial government spending in Canada, and Alberta now spends more per capita than any of the other provinces. Inflation for the last five years has been what, 2% per year? This week's Western Standard reported that Government spending in Health care in Alberta rose 53% over the same period. For all this spending, Canada is last or 2nd last. Something needs to be done. Of all the provincial governments, only Ralph Klein’s conservatives have really tried to introduce new approaches. Yet every single proposal for an increase in privately owned medical facilities has been loudly and vigorously fought by the Friends of Medical Unions, - I mean, Friends of Medicare, who seem to fear marketplace competition above all else. What do they want? More MONEY!

The midstream media here still blindly bequeaths credibility to groups like the Friends of Medicare, ignoring the fact that they are the thinly disguised mouthpieces of Alberta’s heavily unionized health-care labor force. Minimum performance standards, merit-based incentives, worker accountability are traditionally anathema to big-labor, which usually regards the defense of their deadwood as an article of faith. . But overriding all these concerns is organized labor’s self-interest in preserving a single-pay system is obvious: right now their main employer is government, which is far more Vulnerable to easily manipulated public opinion polls than a combination public/private system with multiple employers and insurance providers would be.

I think that's what bugs me the most about all the whining by the lefties and associated civil service types about Ralph Klein's governance over the last decade. Alberta is spending more on education and health care per capita than any other province. So STFU already. Geeze.

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