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Health Care in Canada ?

Health Care - A Corrupt system !

July 4, 2001

The health care system, one of the most expensive the world, ranks 24th in terms of quality of care, behind Columbia. The bottom is the system is not working for a few minor reasons.

Let us first look at the system. We call it a public health system but that is a decptive lie. In fact the system is publically funded, but doctors, most doctors are on a pay per service payment plan, that benefits short visits, repeat visits, referrals, and treating symptoms rather than treating the core problems.

First of all let me say that the system does not benefit doctors, nurses or patients.

Placing doctors on a salary, based on per capita basis would promote and reward good doctoring. The current system does not.

Most important to this analysis of the health system is the quality control element within the system. Here we find self-regulating agencies, in Ontario, The College of Physicians and Surgeons, which is mostly concerned about disciplining doctors. My experiences with this system is that this agency is totally corrupt, and involved in massive cover-ups. This adds to a iron curtain that does not promote efficiency within the system. The Toronto Star as of May 2001, has started a serious investigation of the Collage and exposed that 99% of all complaints are either dismissed or handled in secrecy.

The investigators who handle the complaints for the College of Physicians and Surgeons are either uninformed, ignorant or criminal in their investigations. Investigators are changed mid-stream, sometimes to create a communications break. Conflicting information is ignored. Excuses are provided.

For example: My mother was on a respirator, for four weeks, dead to this world. Originally, a doctor, Dr. 1, had advised that she had had another stroke and that she was basically dead. Well, we were lucky that another Dr. had told us minutes earlier that she did not. We investigated the medications that were given to her. This included a high amount of morphine and 25mg of Valium, a drug she does not take. Mother would take .25 mg of Ativan, a much weaker drug. Now we still have not determined who authorized this, the nurse says the Dr. and the Dr. denies it. (In this case I believe it was the nurses error.

We held a meeting, with Dr. 1 who had lied to us about the stroke, and he went on to tell us about metobolics.... I suggested to him that mother was given a high amount of Morphine and a high amount of Valium a drug she does not take. The Dr. responded, "they are the same drugs." After a interruption he stated that they "were from the same family of drugs"

Presenting this to the College of Physicians, they sided with the Doctor. He was correct, the two drugs were from the same family of drugs. NO MENTION ABOUT THE MORPHINE, NO MENTION ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF THE DRUGS, INVOLVED.

This system is a joke, and the joke is on us.

This system requires a system to investigate medical cases to make improvments, not so much to point fingers. Unfortunately, by the time you lose a loved one, a father or a mother, it is too late, and you move on, and the system protects itself.

Complaints by patients can be appealed to the Health Services Board, an appeal process that is flawed because it cannot overturn a decision based on the facts presented. It can only look at a case if certain details were overlooked. This board does not show much critical thought, and is part of the political conspiracy. As one writer writes, there is no such thing as a conspiracy merely politics. The health system in Ontario and Canada is full of powerful special interest groups.

To compound the problem, here in Thunder Bay one cannot find a lawyer to present a case against a hospital or doctors in general. Many of the doctors are good friends of the lawyers in town, good golf buddies or are have conflicts of interest due to being involved with one doctor or hospital or another.

Another area of suspicision is that the law suits brought against doctors, are agressively attacked by the Doctors Union, using taxpayers money. They will spend millions defending small cases to make them examples to others who dare file a claim against a doctor. It is a shame Doctors do make mistakes and they carry insurance that should compensate the victims of these mistakes rather than continuing on with building their defensive walls.

In addition their are the local hospital boards. The one I attended recently dealth with a budget of some 120 million dollars, and only 70 people showed up to vote. Of these many were top level managers and staff, and their spouses. The public has very little accountability within this board. The top 8 people of this "non-profit" community hospital, earn close to 1.2 million dollars a year. My suggestion to the ministry is to have the local hospital board elected at the municipal election, by the entire voters list.

I am glad that a national investigation into the Health System is Canada is being undertaken, and hopefully the people of this country will take control of their public health system. We need a political revolution, to make the system better for doctors, nurses and most importantly the patient !

Health Care...."Who Controls What ?"

July 7, 2001

In the article, "The hidden tyranny of universal health care" by Dr. Lee Kurisko, one of the most important statements he makes is that " the most frightening form of slavery occurs when people don't even realize that they are enslaved."

Dr. Kurisko attributes the "horrors" of our medical system to the fault of our socialistic health system. This is not true, and we deceived to believe this. Under the definition provided by Dr. Kurisko, socialism is based on the control of a commodity by the government. Here is where the arguement is flawed.

The current health system is not a pure socialist system, the health system is not a public one at all. In fact what Dr. Kurisko sees as the benefits of a capitalistic system can be found in our current flawed health system. Doctors are self-employed and paid a fee per service. Hospitals are "not-for-profit" operations owned by the people. The public pays for this through the public tax system. The system is part public and part private. Looking at how this system functions should shed some light on why this system is so inefficient, ranked 24th in the world.

First of all the government, (the people), do not control the medical system, the College of Physicians and Surgeons does. This powerful entity, has restricted the entry of nurse practitioners, of mid-wives and alternative medicine. The College of Physicians and Surgeons a self-regulates the profession, with a cloak of secrecy and cover-ups, or at least that is what the Toronto Star is uncovering. 99% of all complaints are dismissed or handled in secrecy. Even with the tremendous shortage of doctors in Ontario, the College of Physicians an Surgeons has restricted the entry of foreign doctors. So it is clear that the power of this system does not lie with the government, nor the people, but with the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Also you should be aware that The Health Services Board, that handles appeals of cases concerning the College cannot overturn a decision based on a poor decision but only on the basis that the College did not consider all the information. This is not a true appeal process.

The current health system in Ontario is pagued by poor quality control. From within the system is self-regulating, and the report card on the College of Physicians and Surgeons is very sad. In addition the quality control exercised from outside the health system, by the Justice system, that should penalize poor quality is somewhat handicapped by the unlimited and powerful resources by the system to defend its inefficiencies and mistakes.

Dr. Kurisko's observations concerning hospitals would be better served with a deeper analysis of of hospital system. The current provincial government has moved to ensure that our so called public hospitals operate in the black, or at least break even. In the past these not-for profit hospitals have operated in the red, and the public has had to fund the operating losses of these facilities.

The term "for profit" medicine is a deceptive one. While a hospital is not motivated to ensure a return on investment for its stockholders, the public in this case, the public should be advised that these hospitals generate alot of profit for those invovled in these facilities. For instance the top 8 people in the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital cost us close to 1.1 million dollars. There is personal and corporate profit in a not- for-profit hospital. In Thunder Bay, our community hospital board was elected by some 70 individuals, most of which had a direct tie with the hospital itself. This is not the way a public hospital should elect its public board.

Take a look at the Port Arthur Clinic, this is a private consortium. What difference does it make whether the government pays a not-for profit hospital that costs more money to operate than a for-profit hospital. If the government allows private hospitals, or clinics to develop under their regulations, the public will have choice, and hopefully the competition will promote efficiency. The current system is lacking this, not only from a government that will not allow private hospitals, but from the College that will not allow more competition.

To suggest that our current health system is not "profit driven" fails to ignore perhaps one of the greatest forces within the system; the pharmaceutical industry. Not only do they control the education of doctors, and the educational material presented to them, but according to the CBC, they now, control many of the patient advisory groups, such as the Canadian Arthritus Society through their donations. The problem has developed that current medical teaching has focused on treating symptoms and not treating causes of disease. Prevention and cures, are bad business to those who treat symptoms.

The tyranny of the universal health care system is not as Dr. Kurisko observes from outside the system, but from within. The health system is an ineffective and inefficient system that rewards itself for ineffectiveness and inefficiency while protecting itself.

Whether we continue with our half public/half private system or develope more private health care delivery units, or build a true social public system, the important element will be quality control. Quality control, that is based on maintaining the integrity of the system from the perpective of the public, the people.

We already have a health system driven by profit, and we still do not have a true public health care system. We need a health care revolution from within the current system beginning with exercises in critical thought so that we can actually see what is and then move to decide what should be.

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