Looking for health-care solutions (Letter to the editor)

|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/24/2003

While the recent article on the people side of health care (Editor’s Notes, Dec. 16, 2002 — click "Related Articles" link below to read editorial) is both timely and needed, I believe that there are four issues that are still just below the surface.

First, as your article so clearly identifies, the current system has the wrong focus. If the Kirby and Romanow reports show anything, it is that all of health care should be re-focused with patients/clients at the centre rather than government. If we are truthful, we will recognize that the current Canada Health Act is more a prescription for insurance than it is for actual health care. The role of governments then should be to clearly outline what coverage will be available to every Canadian. Leave the actual delivery to providers.

Doing this would address how we might transition to a focus on “teamwork and collaboration of professionals” because the focus would be on the patient/client needs rather than government fiat. It is clear, at least to me, that as long as the primary goal of a politician is to get elected and then re-elected, meaningful, long-term focus will always take a back seat to what is politically expedient, and funding, budgets and long-term planning will always be difficult. Perhaps the best thing we could do as part of any restructuring is to de-politicize the current system.