Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Health Care in Canada

I keep having these discussions with people about health care and how badly the government is dealing with it. Most people want more healthcare funding. Not me, here's what I want.

Tabacco: make it a prescription drug and anybody can get it as long as they opt out of public medicaire. Twenty plus percent of all deaths (45000/yr) in Canada are directly or indirectly due to smoking. The cost is 3 Billion directly in health care and over 11 Billion including indirect costs. Tax revenue is only 7.6 Billion making it a losing business for society.

Source: National Clearinghouse on Tabacco, CCRA

Obesity, substance abuse etc.: Same as above, tax revenue minus costs adds up to a negative balance sheet. I'd say throw some money into prevention and for those who don't care, they should be allowed to opt out of health insurance.

Long term health care: get the old folks into proper long term care and out of hospitals. Hospitals are supposed to be for asssembly line repairs, not parking lots.

All this above should add up to 5-10 Billion/yr in extra funds for society and should theoretically unclog the existing health care system. Maybe it's a hard line but it doesn't make sense to keep making the same mistakes over and over. That is after all the definition of insanity.


Ralph said...

For your corrections to work, Canada must permit private insurance for those exculded. Or do I misunderstand?

sanj said...

yes, either private health insurance or a separate fiscally balanced public health insurance for those who choose not to avoid preventable health problems (i.e. higher premiums, lower priority). In a private health care system, people who are obese and/or smoke have higher premiums, this is tough but mostly fair.