Saskatchewanians aren't used to seeing their team in the Grey Cup nor their mainstream media looking for private health care. But this, and the swearing in of the first non-NDP government in 16 years, are all happening this week.
A Regina Leader-Post editorial says,
Former Saskatchewan health-care commissioner Ken Fyke warned almost eight years ago that huge annual increases in health spending aren't sustainable and other social programs could suffer -- but the big spending continues. Indeed, the Canadian Institute for Health Innovation reported last week that Canada's health spending is up by 6.6 per cent this year -- "the eleventh consecutive year in which health-care spending is expected to outpace inflation and population growth."
What's missing at the national and provincial levels is a profound debate on the innovation that might make the system more affordable -- from fees for some non-emergency services to more private-sector delivery within a publicly funded system.
Saskatchewan's new government has the opportunity to launch that debate this week in the birthplace of medicare.