Michael Rachlis MD

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Let's have that Adult Conversation about Medicare

14 October 2012, 11:32 PM

I have an op ed in today’s Toronto Star replying to Globe columnist Jeffrey Simpson, former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge, and others who say Canadians are too immature for the adult conversation we need to have about medicare. Simpson’s new book “Condition Critical: Why Canada’s health-care system needs to be dragged into the 21st century” is better than most centre-right critiques of medicare. But, his analysis is superficial and he omits key facts. He doesn’t seem to have heard of the quality agenda in health care and as result his analysis of the wait list issue is wholly inadequate. He hardly mentions public sector options to reduce wait times. Like others he fails to note either the Queensway surgicentre, North America’s largest out of hospital surgical facility, or Winnipeg’s Pan am Clinic. (You can read more about these innovative centres in a 2007 paper I co-authored.) And he implies support for user fees ten times before he dismisses them near the end of the book.

So let’s start the grown up conversation about medicare with public sector solutions. To quote Tommy Douglas, “It’s not too late to make a better world.”

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