Our View: Time to do health care better again

The Fraser Institute has identified a $1.1 billion loss to Canada’s economy resulting from people waiting in line for necessary health care last year.

The study, The Private Cost of Public Queues for Medically Necessary Care, calculates the average value of time lost during the work week for each of the estimated 928,120 patients waiting for surgery at $1,202 per patient.

Keep in mind that the Fraser Institute, which bills itself as “an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank,” actually tends to lean towards the right reaches of the political spectrum, and is not widely acclaimed as a champion for social programs.

But other sources indicate that Canada’s health care system – once among the very best in the world – is not what it could be.

The World Health Organization ranks Canada’s health care 30th in the world.

We are ranked behind the United States in patient wait times… at least, behind Americans who get any care at all, and not taking into account “appropriate care” nuances of the American system.

But there we go again: as soon as Canada’s overall health care quality is brought into question, we compare ourselves with the United States (ranked well behind us at 37th by the WHO), and the conversation is quickly shut down with cries of, “We don’t want the American system!”

And nothing changes.

But in the past few decades, at least 29 other countries have moved ahead of us – and many of them make no bones of the fact that they did so by building on – and improving – the Canadian model.

It’s time we looked beyond our immediate neighbour, and took a serious look at what some of our more distant relatives are apparently doing better than we are.

Canada needs to do what they did: look at the best in the world, apply our own ingenuity and tailor to our own needs, and make ours better.

– B.G.

Just Posted

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

WATCH: Farm Country Brewing in Langley City expected to open in summer

Farm Country Brewing is currently under construction and is planned to open in summer 2019.

South Langley centre offers seniors an array of activities

Members decide which courses and activities are offered at the Brookswood Seniors Centre.

LETTER: Langley/Surrey shortchanged on transit for Vancouver

Funding to get SkyTrain to Langley City could come from not undergrounding Vancouver’s extension.

LETTER: Area letter writer puts Trump government shutdown in perspective

A Maple Ridge letter writer is critical of Hillary Clinton’s comments about the shutdown.

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Book a ride on a driverless shuttle in Surrey or Vancouver

Automated vehicle demos are being offered, as the two cities plan pilot projects with the shuttles

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Most Read