The parameters of a debate (II)

Last week—shortly before he announced his impending resignation—Liberal MP and doctor Keith Martin offered some dos and don’ts for health care reform. Yesterday afternoon I received an e-mail from the office of Liberal MP and doctor Hedy Fry, who after seeing those proposals mentioned here, had jotted down a series of counter proposals.

Here then are Ms. Fry’s dos and don’ts.

Don’t agree with a parallel public and private Medicare system. It killed NHS in UK in the 60s. Was there.

Do think we should have public Medicare for all Canadians regardless of ability to pay.

Don’t think it should cover all wants.

Do think we should set up clinical guidelines for medically necessary services and lab tests and technology. It’s called gatekeeping with objective, evidence-based decisions.

Do think we should run hospitals, labs and elective surgeries on a 24 hour basis.

Do think hospitals should only be for acute care. Build a public Home Care system for sub-acute and chronic care.

Do think we should send motor vehicle and worker’s comp injuries to private clinics/hospitals. They are private insurers and shouldn’t hold up waiting lists.

Do think we should let private hospitals and labs be built and contract out to the public system under public administration and CHA rules.

The principle of Medicare is public administration not public delivery. Check it out. Your doc is in private practice as is the local lab, and your local hospital is probably built and run by a not-for-profit organization…was always thus.

Don’t think when you’re ill, care is an option/commodity; it is a necessity. Market place principles cannot apply.

Do know that poverty is a major indicator of health.

Do know that Medicare is nothing like education.

Do know that Canada can provide and afford the care we need when we need it.

Don’t know any country that can afford the care we want whenever we want it.