Single payer truths, from Ontario’s Ministry of Health

Not my words, but from Tom Campbell deputy minister of health in the province of Ontario:

[O]ur system could be much better. It lags behind the best international standards in waiting times and availability of new technology and drugs. Our medical staff are overworked and stressed. We seem to lurch from crisis to crisis with constant government attempts at micromanagement, punctuated with cutbacks and bailouts.

It is time for a different approach: less government, not more. Our current problems are caused by the failure of a rigid, centralized control system that inevitably follows from single-source funding. In the absence of economic user fees, paid directly to service providers, central funding leads to shortages and rationing as a means of cost control. We see the results in unacceptable waiting times and lack of adequate services. The current shortage of trained medical staff is the result of botched government decisions in the name of cost control. As a result, a significant number of people do not have a family doctor.

The way we fund health care rules out any market forces or signals that might improve efficiency. We provide free coverage for minor services to all, including the most affluent, so we don’t have enough funds for timely cancer treatments and catastrophic drug plans. This creates the ultimate two-tier system where the more affluent can pay for drugs and travel to the United States, while those of more modest means are denied service.

(via Socialized Medicine)

Graham retorts.


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