Thursday, July 12, 2007

Reciprocating Redundant Repetition

Why does this province's democratic process seem to be on an endless cyclical loop, rehashing the same subjects over and over with little-to-no apparent progress or Will to Progress (yes, I've been reading Nietzsche) since 1970? Is it simply agenda pushing idiots who've gotten us caught up in this political quagmire or is there some sort of greater cultural problem at work here?

This week, again, saw hue-and-cry over the Canadian Health Care system and a rash of people calling to privatize the system ASAP. I have already dealt with this, briefly at moopthas' old address and I'll expand on a few different themes here.

The main problem with establishing a private system is maintaining a parallel social system; regulations cannot be extended too far into the private sector because if they are, it simply won't establish itself, so with reduced restrictions a series of private hospitals and clinics would, as soon as they entered the market, begin competing not only with each other, but with the social system aswell. And here's the big, dirty secret about the private sector: competition isn't limited to consumer-side services. Supply-side services compete with each other, aswell.

Doctors want better wages, like anyone else, for that matter, and so do nurses and orderlies and everyone else involved in the health system. The private sector, unregulated, has no problem offering them. It pays based on individuals' merit and therefore soon draws the best of our professionals out of the public system. In order to preserve even a modicum of competent function in the public system, the wages within that system will have to be raised in order to match the private ones. The private system, in charge of its own pricing, will be able to compensate and maintain its hold on those doctors who represent our best and brightest.

The same is true of every kind of specialist and professional involved in medicine. Of course, the consumer will not tolerate an endlessly rising inflation and, based on his/her Will to Pay, the prices and wages would inevitably stabilize at one point; it would not happen before the public system had been ravaged - irrecoverably demolished.

The cost of professionals wouldn't be the only thing to suffer - the cost of procedures and insurance would soar, briefly, as they acclimatized themselves to a new market (as they surged to compete with and overthrow the social system). A look at the US system is the simplest way of confirming these suspicions; drug companies would follow suit as deregulation and increased insurance coverage would give them the leeway they need to gouge more and more out of their hapless customers.

They may have had some success with the system in Great Britain and Europe, but the facts of Québec's almost perverted mixture of right- and left-wing politics/government, along with this country's proximity to the USA and the bleed-over effect of their instant-gratification culture on our own make any proposal to privatize a segment of the Canadian Health System completely unviable. Unfortunately, our geo-political climate makes it an all-or-nothing situation and scrapping public health simply is not an option; it is unethical and contrary to the basic human rights we believe in - or claim to believe in - in this country.


scooterd said...

My Gawd! Canada privatizing health care? Take it from a medicine-broke USA-er, not a good idea.

Nice writing on your blog. Oh, I see you are a writer. Figgers.

Renegade Eye said...

You must see Michael Moore's new movie "SICKO".

CatherineAnne said...

Well, we may not agree on socialized health care, but at least we can agree about Mexican beer. Mostly.