Following up on the themes found in yesterday's (Feb.10, 2009) blogpost, Will Ontario Liberals support European-style hybrid health-care?, Linda Silas, president, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, responded to the National Post's Feb.10, 2009 story regarding the CMA's Dr. Robert Ouellet.
Silas wrote in "Made-in-Canada health care reform" (National Post, Feb.11, 2009):
"Re: CMA Pushes European-Style Health Care, Feb. 10.
Dr. Robert Ouellet need not have gone to Europe to find innovative ways to reduce wait lists and control costs. A tour of different facilities in Canada will show how wait lists can be eliminated.
In southwestern Saskatchewan, one physician working in a team with three nurse practitioners looks after 3,200 patients, over twice the Canadian average. In Hamilton, Ont., teams of mental health counsellors, family doctors and psychiatrists have increased the numbers of patients treated for mental health problems by 900% while decreasing referrals to the regional psychiatry clinic by 70%. In Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., a task force reduced the time from mammogram to breast cancer diagnosis from 107 to 18 days.
The list goes on. We need to focus on making these innovations the new norm in health care delivery."
Silas...Grinspun...McBane...the NDP...bla, blaaa, blahh.
The government can, and should, continue improving its health care delivery. No argument!
The problem is the leftist assumption that this should only occur within a state-run monopoly.
We've had forty years of Tommy Douglas' Promised Land health-chicanery.
The state cannot be trusted to provide health care. There must be alternative payer-provider options made available for patients. Hopefully, the McCreith-Holmes charter Supreme court challenge against the McGuintyites' health care messes will pave the way for the reforms Dr. Ouellet envisions. It's a tragedy, perhaps of criminal proportions, that no politician of any party has the fortitude to forthrightly tackle the medicare-monopoly issue without being prodded by the court. It's shameful.
Why should anyone trust any so-called 'made-in-Canada' solution of Silas', when it is ideologically-based, labour-politics-infected, 'made-in-Canada' monopoly-medicare (once itself touted as the 'solution') which is now the problem?
Further to Silas' examples of successful health teams, again, this doesn't prove patients have to be locked in a no-choice, state-run health monopoly for more innovative, or effective, methods of health-care delivery methods to be implemented. The sad thing is that it took a blundering, non-competitive bureaucracy this long to do so! This doesn't prove that monopoly-medicare works, nor is even necessary.
Dr. Yoel Abells wrote about the effectivenes of these health teams, within Ontario's Liberal monopoly setting, in "Musical chairs for MD's" (National Post, Jan.21, 2009):
"It was not long ago that the government of Ontario began establishing family health teams (FHTs) as part of its commitment to reform the delivery of primary health care to its citizens. The concept involved creating clinics that would provide comprehensive care using a group of collaborating health care providers (family physicians, nurses, dietitians, etc.). While intuitively the idea made perfect sense, I had (and continue to have) concerns related to this endeavour. Admittedly, these stemmed from a distrust of government -- a sense that the real goal was cost control, not improvement of care. I worried that commitment to these projects would wane and the money would disappear. I predicted that, without a careful analysis of the success (or failure) of these models, the government would begin looking to other models of care because this is how government works. The recent decision by the Ontario Ministry of Health to postpone the establishment of further FHTs and instead fund Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics (NPLCs), speaks loudly to this concern.
This initiative is troubling for a variety of reasons. First, it reflects the ministry's poor understanding of what family medicine is about and what family doctors do. Let me be very clear: This is not a territorial argument. Nurse practitioners are exceptionally well-trained health care professionals. But they are not doctors, and to imply that they can do what family physicians do is insulting.
Second, when one reads the ministry's announcement regarding these NPLCs, they appear to be no different from the FHTs. They will be "comprised of health care professionals who will work collaboratively to provide comprehensive ... care."
Third, there is a philosophically dishonest disconnect underlying the NPLCs. When FHTs were established, a fundamental tenet was that no one would be "leading" the team. Rather, care was being provided "collaboratively." There was a very deliberate move away from the medical model of care, dominated as it was by the medical practitioner. To call these "Family Physician-Led" clinics was sacrilege. Yet, Nurse Practitioner-Led clinics are fine. Apparently, what is good for the goose is not good for the gander.
Finally, when the FHTs were introduced, they were touted as proven paradigms of health care delivery that would bring positive change to the landscape of primary care provision in Ontario. Yet no such proof really existed. Now, the government has put FHTs on hold and is bringing in a new model, even though the ministry's spokesman admits that no specific evaluation of the NP-led model exists. Ironically, he defends the initiative, by arguing that there "hasn't been a similar evaluation of FHTs." (Incidentally, research on the NPLCs has been done, but most has focused on specialty NPLCs offering disease specific care such as cardiac care -- not ones providing general health services.)
The government made a commitment to a model that it most assuredly claimed would improve the level of care provided. Before blindly embarking in yet another direction and introducing yet another tier of care, a proper evaluation of the established models is needed."
Dalton's Ontario McGuintyites pushed FHT's; even municipalities were fighting about how to subsidize and entice them, spreading what should be the province's financial responsibility onto municipal taxpayers, yet another indirect taxation-creep consequence of Liberal state-run health monopolism.
In Niagara, St. Catharines Liberal MPP Jim Bradley proudly tooted his horn on FHT's, in so many words saying the same thing Abells now describes: "they were touted as proven paradigms of health care delivery that would bring positive change to the landscape of primary care provision in Ontario".
YET NO SUCH PROOF EXISTED, writes Abells - so what the flick was Good Ole Jimmy peddling? BS and pipedreams?!
Bradley was spouting classic Liberal Healthcare Duplicity.
Can any example of statist, 'oh, just trust us' McGuintyite GARBAGE spewed by these Liberals be made any clearer? Do Jim Bradley or David Caplan dispute Abells?
Despite that Bradley's Lying Liberals were caught on their Family Health Team-model deception, they are doing the same old-bait-and-switch again, this time with the Nurse Practitioner model!
Liberals lying about health-care, cutting health-care, raising taxes, and desperately substituting bait-and-switch health-care for the real thing. Typical Liberals, propagating the illusion.
This Liberal ideological health-monopoly should be outlawed.