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Policy Briefing: Health
Canadians are spending more money than people do in other developed countries, the United States excepted, for health-care services that are nowhere near the best, write Duncan Sinclair and David Walker. The Hill Times photograph by Kristen Shane

Does ‘pay more, get less’ make sense to you?

Canada’s health-care system stood 10th of 11 countries studied by the Commonwealth Fund in 2014.
Opinion|Don Drummond
Something will have to give, and hopefully not health outcomes and the quality of care.
Opinion|Chris Simpson
Governments should build the infrastructure to measure and monitor health outcomes so they can be used as the basis for incentives in a new pay structure.
Opinion|Helen Ries
One day we will find a way to pool our collective billions in assets and resources and we will leverage it. Our financial decisions will shift the economy—markets will watch us.
Feature|Denis Calnan
'It’s important that it’s earmarked for mental health. If it goes out as just general funding to the provinces, it will be swallowed up by hips and knees and hearts and higher-profile issues,' says the University of B.C.'s Alex Berland.
We need a system that's universal, portable, accessible, and comprehensive, providing everybody the care they need, independent of their ability to pay. Canada's public health-care system does not meet those principles now.
There’s absolutely no justification for Ottawa to control Quebec’s management of our health system.
We must broaden our response to the current crisis to address the aspects of our health-care system that contribute to the increasing demand for, and continued reliance on, opioids. We can’t afford to wait.
While life insurance and long-term disability insurance costs do increase with age, insurance companies will accommodate any employer who wants to continue some coverage beyond age 65 for their active employees with the disability benefit limited to 12 or 24 months instead of stopping it altogether.
Establishing universal hospital and physician care took leadership. It’s time for leadership from all levels of government to further Tommy’s dream and ensure that every Canadian has access to the health care they need, when they need it.
Changing how we educate our health experts will improve our health system.
But if we believe that medicare is a worthy endeavour then we must also live up to those values and accept the responsibility to make that system work—and work well. It’s time to make it better.
Feature|Denis Calnan
Experts say men don't access the health system enough, and when they finally do, it costs the system more money.
To get beyond the money issue, the federal government needs to sweeten its offer to provinces and territories.
'If we don't achieve satisfactory resolutions for indigenous people than we won't be doing that for the rest of Canadians,' says CMA president Dr. Granger Avery.
Proponents are calling on the federal government to make sizeable investments in the healthcare system and requiring funding to the provinces and territories be spent on specific areas, like home care and mental health.
Not only is patient access to medically needed services in the balance here, but in the long run, the government could in fact end up pushing ever more physicians and patients toward a parallel private system if it fails to demonstrate a strong commitment to quality public care.
If you are still unsure, ask your provincial Member of Parliament for help pointing you to programs you may be eligible for. You may also want to ask them why Canada doesn’t have a national pharmacare program yet while you are at it.
Childhood injuries cost all of us. In fact, they are estimated to cost Canadians more than $5.8-billion every year. That money comes out of our health-care system, our tax system, and our transport system.

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