Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Private surgeries to reduce wait-times

The Calgary Regional Health Authority is considering contracting out surgery as a way to reduce surgical wait-times.

The surgeries contemplated to be privatized are cataract and hip replacements.


Chad Moats said...

I am of 2 minds on this issue. Mind #1- Profit from ailing and dieing people is morally wrong.
Mind #2- The era of the global economy is upon us and we must preserve our institutions(public Health care) in any way possible, while maintaining our value system and equality. Therefore Public-Private Partnerships may be the way to go, a single public insurer with private clinics and hospitals providing services.
I tend to listen to my second mind as it is more pragmatic but tends to get me in hot water with other social democrats.

Shawn said...

If the gov't is merely acting as the moneyman, why not remove them from the equation (with the exception of welfare-type cases) and allow people to purchase from private insurers? At least people would have the choice of different insurers, rather than a single monopoly provider. Intelligent legislation (a rarity to be sure, but let's pretend) for insurance providers can minimize many of the excesses on display in the US. As well, examine legislation from other locales to see what could be implemented.

Chad, I must disrespectfully disagree with Mind #1. If that is the case, the mortuary business should be nationalized. People who are sick/dying require a service from trained professionals. Those professionals should be reimbursed for those services (or have an easy means of claiming charity work against taxes). Concerns over excessive profit would be better managed through a private system which allows competition and choice.

Chad Moats said...

I have lived in the USA and seen what the system you propose is like and I never want to see that here. I don't mind private facilities but private insurance always end up costing more. On the business side of things, you would have make employers provide insurance for employees, otherwise the system is a big mess inequity. The downside is it is equivalent to a large payroll tax and would make the business climate less competitive. A single insurer is the only way. It covers all and regulates the health services.

Shawn said...

Your contention is that the government is more efficient than private business? No chance of that, not with the tendency to skim 15-20% for themselves. Please note I did not say "...transplant the US system...", I suggested studying it with regard to developing legislation to prevent many of the mistakes made in the US with private insurers.

Another option would be to allow people choice in the matter. Choose public or private. Then you can have the system you want and others can do the same. Compelling everyone to be part of the current train wreck is not a humane or moral option.

Regarding the extra expense to business, I contend it would be a less onerous burden than the current taxes sucked out by health spending.

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