Ontario has great doctors, nurses, technicians and staff. The problem in Ontario with healthcare is that it is rationed and is a one size fits all system. This means people have to wait and suffer when they should be getting the care they need and have paid for. It is so bad that each year thousands leave the province to get healthcare somewhere else. Those healthcare dollars are lost. The expertise is not grown and our overall system suffers. The basic problem is there is a single Health Insurance option in Ontario - the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.
Many people are surprised to find out that Ontario's healthcare providers are in high demand. People travel from around the world and visit Ontario. Some specifically travel to Ontario for medical treatment. They get treatment, either with an insurance plan, or even by paying out of pocket. A person that comes to Ontario and has a baby, pays around $3,000. About half for the medical staff and about half for the facility (hospital) and supplies. It happens every day. Why can't people in Ontario get access to their own healthcare services when they need it?
Ontario has first world healthcare providers and third world healthcare administration.
At present, Ontario taxpayers pay for a generic health insurance plan. This plan serves many people's needs very well, but some people are not well served at all for many reasons. In order to address this, new insurance options will be allowed. For instance:
- An "Athletes Plan" could be offered - including Basic Medical, and more service in physiotherapy and less cancer treatment.
- An "Autism Plan" could be offered - including Basic Medical, and more autism treatments.
- A "Healthy Living Plan" could be offered - including Basic Medical, and and adds dental treatment and eyeglasses, and less treatment for chronic disease such as diabetes.
- Any kind of plan can be offered, if there is a market for a plan.
- The current OHIP plan will continue to be offered.
No person will be required to change from OHIP to a non-Government plan. In short, if a non-Government plan has people that prefer it, compared to OHIP, it will thrive. Each non-Government plan can receive the same average per person Government funds that OHIP receives.
The Ontario Libertarian Party will end healthcare rationing!
- average per person healthcare funding will be attached to the individual and not to OHIP
- allow non-Government insurance options in addition to OHIP
- allow non-Government insurers to sub-contract certain services to OHIP, for example Basic Medical
- allow non-Government insurers to provide the exact same service as OHIP
- allow non-Government insurers to provide "boutique" or "specialty" packages
- non-Government insurers will receive the same per person funding as OHIP and can charge other fees
- people can switch away from OHIP by giving OHIP 90 days notice
- people can switch from any non-Government option back onto OHIP with the same waiting period as any new resident in Ontario
- healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, technicians will all be able to work for either OHIP or non-Government providers, or both, as they see fit
That is how we will end healthcare rationing!
Most Canadians are proud of our Health Care system, mainly because the only other system they are at all familiar with is the American one, which does not provide universal access. Fortunately there are several other countries that provide universal access to medical care. Canada could benefit by adopting ideas that work in other countries. The Fraser Institute has many articles on Health Care including the following..
Comparing Performance of Universal Health Care Countries, 2016 "Overall, the data examined suggest that, although Canada’s is among the most expensive universal-access health-care systems in the OECD, its performance is modest to poor." The following reports explain how other countries are providing universal access at lower cost and without the long wait times experienced in Canada.
Health Care Lessons from the Netherlands "Though government plays an important role in terms of funding, regulation, and oversight, the operation of the health care system is largely left to private competing insurers and providers."
Health Care Lessons from Germany "The German health care system has been recognized as one that provides good quality care with attentive service in which wait times are not considered to be a problem, as well as a system that rapidly adopts new medical innovations." "
Health Care Lessons from Japan "This paper focuses on the Japanese health care system which has been identified as a system that provides some of the best outcomes on an aggregate basis when compared with other developed nations that maintain universal approaches to health care insurance."
Health Care Lessons from Australia "The Australian health care system provides some of the best outcomes when compared with other developed nations that have universal approaches to health care insurance."
Next are a few books that offer solutions to our current medical care crisis.
When Politics Comes Before Patients: Why and How Canadian Medicare is Failing By Dr. Shawn Whatley
"John Goodman's terrific book Priceless . . . offers a breath of fresh air in a tired healthcare debate that demonstrates once again that markets enjoy their greatest advantage in complex settings that call for imaginative solutions that no government-driven system can deliver." —Richard A. Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University
“What if we could re-imagine health care in Canada .
As I'm reading Shawn Whatley's book on Kindle I am highlighting paragraphs on almost every page. Damn it, every Canadian should read this book, and now - before it is too late. Whatley carefully analyzes why and how our health care system short-changes patients and mismanages skilled people and resources. These are issues Canadians must engage with, that our political class appears to refuse to discuss in any meaningful way. With the Covid crisis, our health care system has been dealt a body blow. Our already lethal wait times have been extended by months, perhaps years. Can Canadian health care recover to serve patients better? Only if we as Canadians begin to confront what has gone wrong with excessive top-down management, start trusting clinicians on the front lines and stop patting ourselves on the back simply for not being American." -- Y. Cunningham
Available on Amazon.
Better Medicine: Reforming Canadian Health Care Edited by Dr. David Gratzer
Donner Prize-winning author Dr. David Gratzer (Code Blue) edits and introduces this collection of twelve essays on health care reform in Canada, advocating an open-minded approach to such concepts as privatization, two-tier health care, and user fees. Gratzer has assembled a stellar list of authors who invite Canadians to question their confidence in government-managed public health. Contributors include Order of Canada member and University of Toronto professor Michael Bliss, who argues that our current problems are the result of increasingly aggressive government measures to control patients and health-care providers. Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente offers vignettes that address the day-to-day problems of health care: queue jumping, excessive waits, provider burnout, aging equipment, and the politicization of health administration. And, Vancouver-based health analyst Cynthia Ramsey places Canada’s health care system in an international context. Her findings are unsettling.
Other contributors include McGill economist and National Post contributor William Watson, former Quebec Medical Association president Dr. Edwin Coffey, former Ontario Medical Association president Dr. William Orovan, and Urban Futures Institute executive Director David Baxter.
All Canadians concerned about the state of health care in Canada should read this informative and intelligent collection.
Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis by John C. Goodman
In the groundbreaking book about American health care, Priceless, renowned healthcare economist John Goodman reveals how patients, healthcare providers, employers, and employees are all trapped in a dysfunctional, bureaucratic, healthcare system fraught with perverse incentives that raise costs, reduce quality, and make care less accessible. Unless changed, these incentives will only worsen the problems in the coming months and years. He demonstrates how market forces have been driven out from the American healthcare system, making it nearly impossible to solve problems as effectively or efficiently as in virtually every other type of consumer marketplace. Goodman cuts through the politics to think "outside the box" and propose dozens of bold and crucial innovations that, if adopted, would enable caregivers, entrepreneurs, and patients to use their knowledge and creativity to create access to low-cost, high-quality healthcare.