This edition of Health files features critical takes on British Columbia’s plans to overhaul how it pays its family doctors, the Premiers’ advertising campaign to get more federal health care dollars and the COVID-19 response.
Boosting the salaries of British Columbia doctors linked to reduced services
“This raises concerns, just from a system perspective, when you’re having potentially a 54-per-cent increase in compensation. I know that’s being argued as something that is going to retain and draw new students into family medicine, but there is research literature showing that increases in physician compensation actually result in reduced services,” Andrew Longhurst, health-policy researcher and PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University, Globe and Mail, Oct. 31, 2022.
Health care demands leadership, not finger-pointing through advertising
“ . . .If provincial and territorial leaders really believe that an injection of cash would stem the exodus of physicians and nurses, they should be cracking open their chequebooks, not simply demanding that the federal government do so.
“But they know full well that an influx of dollars, federal or otherwise, is not going to magically slow the disturbing collapse of the beloved medicare system. At least not without a plan. And planning, not advertising, is where the premiers should be focusing their efforts. What is needed is fundamental structural reform . . .” wrote André Picard, health columnist for the Globe and Mail, Nov. 1, 2022.
A pandemic for poor people: manufacturing accounted for more COVID deaths than any other sector – even health care
“I don’t personally view gum or doors as essential necessities during a time of crisis. To me, it seems there were decisions that made to prioritize the economy,” Dr. Nitin Mohan, assistant professor at Western University’s faculty of health sciences and a public health specialist, told the Toronto Star, Oct. 30, 2022.
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$52-million to build emergency care for seniors
“I think it’s most overdue needed addition to our system. Why would we not truly design around the challenges of frail, vulnerable seniors, who are growing by the day,” said Kevin Smith, president and chief executive officer at University Health Network, to the Globe and Mail, Oct. 29, 2022
Saskatchewan facing province-wide ambulance shortage and long wait times for EMS responses
“We’ve been hearing EMS report this concern for so long due to offload delays. So, not being able to move patients into the emergency room when our emergency rooms are full, transferring patients between communities and between facilities.
“This government promised ambulance reform back in 2008. It’s been over 20 years. We have a patchwork system that is not working. It is representing the crisis that we know exists in health care right now, where we do not have adequate access to emergency care, we do not have adequate access to primary care,” Vicki Mowat, Saskatchewan NDP critic for health told CBC News Saskatchewan, Oct. 28, 2022.
Time to care for those who care for us
“While we have much to do to strengthen the health care system on all levels, a crucial piece of the puzzle is prioritizing the mental health of our health care workers. Every Canadian deserves to work in a psychologically safe and health workplace. Let’s make that a reality,” Michel Rodrigue, president and CEO at the Mental Health Coalition of Canada, told the Toronto Star, Oct. 28, 2022.