Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Day Wins Leadership

Anyone else getting a sense of "Deja-vu"?
(sorry, best pic I could find)

Okay, wrong Day, but same deal with the commitment on "No Two Tier Health Care". Seriously though, it's nice to see the CMA, with its new president, Dr. Brian Day, coming around to my way of thinking. ;-) I've said for a long time that there should not be such a stigma against private delivery of services when the public system is failing. It was kinda cool listening to Andy Barrie on CBC this morning... he wasn't bashing the idea, which you would naturally expect from a CBC personality.

While we're on the topic, do you want to know the REAL reason our Health Care system sucks? On average, 60-70% of your health care dollars go towards salaries and benefits. I took a quick look at the books of four unnamed institutions (one in Toronto, rest in GTA)...

Percentage of Ministry Funding spent on Salaries and Benefits:
77% - 68% - 66% - 86%
(in the interest of self-preservation, these numbers do NOT include my own organization... LOL)

I also took a look at the books for Sick Kids, and they present an extreme example... of course, in order to get the best staff, (which we want for our kids) you have to put out the cash. However, that being said...

Ministry of Health Funding = $337,735,000
Cost of Salaries and Benefits = $350,942,000
(yes, that is a negative result you're looking at)

They had other revenue streams too, but still ended up with a net shortfall of $5,265,000.

Try looking up your own local hospital's annual report.

So, my question is this... in delivering health services, could the private sector do better? I'm no expert, but in looking at these numbers, the answer I come to is, "Perhaps".


  • At Wed. Aug. 23, 04:15:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger John M Reynolds said…

    Simply saying that the money goes to salaries is not enough. How much funding goes to administrative staff? How much of a doctor's or nurse's time is spent doing administrative tasks instead of helping the sick? Even a private hospital's largest expense would be salaries and benefits.

  • At Wed. Aug. 23, 04:50:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    You're right... money ought to go to the front line.

    (I have to watch what I say, hence my comments are more vauge)

  • At Wed. Aug. 23, 11:31:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    Looking only at salaries, and saying they're the "REAL reason our Health Care system sucks" is jumping the gun. Health care is a service industry, and as such, labour costs will be the biggest expense.

    JR, above, mentioned administrative staff/work as being a drain on the system, and I won't entirely disagree. But I don't think private, for-profit institutions would be all that different. I've worked for over five years in a government-funded institution, and spent the last six years working for a publicly traded corporation, and I can say with experience that there are great inefficiencies in both settings. And from conversations with friends in various work environments, the common theme seems to be that wherever there's a large, complicated organization, there's a great deal of inefficiency.

  • At Thu. Aug. 24, 07:40:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Dirk, I agree with you on the organizational inefficiencies, but something to consider... looking at older records, salaries and such used to only account for 30-40% of hospital budgets.

    Why the drastic change?

  • At Sat. Aug. 26, 12:18:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Another importnat thing to pay attention to is the cost of Health-Care vs. the size of the Economy. In Canada (with a generally regulated and public Sealth Care system), we sink almost 10% of our entire economy on Healthcare... that's over $100 Billion!!!! However, while this number sounds incredible, the U.S. (which has a generally private and for-profit system) pours over 17% of their economy into healthcare! That's almost double the per-capita cost of a "for-profit" system... Not to mention that 45 million American's have no access to healthcare at all (ie. don't have any insurance)!!! Complain all you want, but I'd take Canada's system over the American one any day of the week and twice on Sunday!

    To explain why the Cost of Salaries and Benefit's have risen so much... Look no further than the American system once again! Unfortunately, Canadian hospitals main competition for qualified staff is from the U.S. system (who are able to offer crazy amounts of money to Med school graduate's)... While I think most Canadian graduate's would prefer to stay in Canada, if the salary gap is too big, they'll take off.

    In fact, not only in Canada, but Health Care systems from around the world are being negatively affected by disproportions caused by the U.S. 'For-Profit' system.... Instead of joining the Cause of the Problem, Canada should continue to offer itself as a Part of the Solution!!!


  • At Sat. Aug. 26, 12:26:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    And I apologize for those obvious spelling errors.... I honestly do realize that "Important" is spelt A-N-T and that the word "Health" actually doesn't start with an 'S'...

    They never sent me a spelling guide when I received my Left-wing handbook on political propaganda... perhaps something we should look into!!!


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