Monday, June 26, 2006

US healthcare a bit of a mess.

Smell the irony in the title. Then click here. The money quote:
THERE'LL BE WAITING LISTS. Hello! Have you ever tried to get a quick appointment with your family doctor -- especially at night or on weekends? Only a third of Americans have same-day access to their own doctor. It takes days, even if you have insurance -- ask an uninsured American about waiting lists! And forget about trying to see a specialist within a month of calling. No country with SPS has a waiting list for emergency care and few have them for primary care. Waits for other procedures are almost always for elective surgeries (liposuction, face lifts, tennis elbow, nonessential MRIs, etc.).
Look. Everyone, in every country, has problems with their healthcare system. Largely due to lack of technologies and lack of practitioners where they are needed. There are institutional changes that need to be made in Canada's healthcare system to try to make it run more efficiently and effectively for our current social context. That's beyond question. What's not beyond question, though, and has been demonstrated time and time again is that introducing market-based healthcare is utterly back-asswards. It doesn't help: costs go up, coverage decreases, and the essential problems don't get changed.

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