A vision for the future of health care
Author: Scott Pettigrew – Contributor
Despite what people may have assumed/gathered about my political views, I actually do believe in government-provided health insurance (*gasp*). Though I don’t like an overly involved government, I do acknowledge and respect the necessary role that government plays in a civilized society. Unlike many of my intellectual colleagues, I believe that government-sponsored health insurance is an important part in keeping the quality of life high, and citizens happy in a free society such as ours. That part of the conversation, for me, is over. However, the real question is how. What is the best way to deliver healthcare to our citizens? I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do have a couple ideas.
P3 projects are, to me, the best possible and most logical way of completing all kinds of government projects. Everything can be done using this method, including roads, buildings, social investments, and even health care. Yes, health care. Why is the P3 method so successful? Simply because of the core reality of government – it is incredibly and innately inefficient. Why is government inefficient? Because there are absolutely no incentives to become more efficient. There is no competition, and no particular reason to excel. Meanwhile, in a free market, the opposite is true. In a truly free market (which, by the way, we do not have), if you are not doing your job to the absolute best of your abilities and keeping your clients happy, you will fail and somebody better will replace you. This inherent competition makes the business world efficient, innovative, and (in a free market) responsible.
What I would like to see in our healthcare system (eventually) is the utilization of this unstoppable force in order to better the lives of everybody else. The system that I would use is one similar to that of Switzerland; compulsory, subsidized, affordable health insurance that is provided by competitive businesses, and treatment provided in top-rate private health care facilities. No wait lines, no depressing and decrepit facilities, and no government inefficiency in the appropriation of health care funds.
The new MRI facilities in Saskatchewan, though not following my ideal model of an efficient health care system, have become a much-needed solution to a problem that has seen government agencies turn a blind eye on – MRI scan wait times. To me, it is a win/win scenario; by “allowing” (authoritarian garbage language that I hate, but must use) people who have the money to attend an MRI scan in a private clinic. The person paying for the clinic’s services obviously wins by eliminating wait times, meanwhile the people waiting to be scanned have one less appointment to wait for. See? Win/win. It’s that simple.
We in Canada have a great tradition of ensuring the health of our citizens. Though, to me, while the way we do it right now is broken, the sentiment couldn’t be better; all life is precious, regardless of what you have in the bank. For now, our system sort of works, and for that I am grateful. However, I think we as Canadians can (and will) do better.