Our public officials, and our politicians, have failed to manage the socialized healthcare system, and have used that failure as a pretext to take away our rights and freedoms. This cannot continue.
The time has long passed for Canada to acknowledge a clear reality:
Our socialist healthcare system has failed.
Even before covid, ICU’s were constantly at or near capacity, with yearly stories about how the system ‘risked being overwhelmed’ because of the flu.
Here are excerpts from a 2018 CBC article on overwhelmed hospitals cancelling surgeries:
“Patients are receiving “substandard care” in hallways at hospitals across Ontario due to a crisis in capacity that leads to increased infection rates, more violence and higher mortality rates, according to the Ontario Health Coalition.
Natalie Mehra, executive director of the coalition, said basically every hospital in a city with 50,000 people or more is running at 100 per cent capacity or higher, and not just during the flu season surge.”
“”We had to postpone 10 pre scheduled/elective surgeries that would have had to occupy a bed post surgery to accommodate the surge,” wrote hospital CEO David Musyj in a memo to staff. “We have 23 ‘extra’ beds open … since December.””
Here’s a Global News story from 2017:
“Premier Christy Clark is blaming the issue of overcrowded emergency rooms, like the one seen at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, on a bad flu season.
Earlier this week, the B.C. Nurses’ Union described the emergency room at Abbotsford Hospital as a “war zone” or something out of a scene from M*A*S*H.
“The nurses are consistently stretched, they are stressed, they are working 16-hour shifts, they are working without breaks, they’re tripping over people,” Gayle Duteil, president of the union, said.
“The ambulance bay was full of patients. I saw a number of psychiatric patients being held in chairs designed for seniors. It was very, very shocking and I could see how difficult this was for the nurses who were there.””
Here’s a Toronto Star story from 2017:
“It’s been a rough few months for Ontario hospitals. Wait times for patients admitted through ERs have hit peak levels; more patients have been admitted than discharged; and a number of hospitals have simply run out of space.
Frazzled administrators, forced to get creative in accommodating the overflow, have coined the term “unconventional spaces” to describe their solution. They have converted into temporary accommodations patient lounges, staff classrooms, offices — and in some cases even storage rooms.”
Here’s a Hamilton Spectator story from 2016:
“A barrage of patients to Hamilton’s hospitals is overwhelming emergency departments, leaving too few ambulances on the road and overcrowding hospital wards.
St. Joseph’s Healthcare has been operating at 134-per-cent capacity for three months.
“We’ve really struggled since July,” said Anne Marie MacDonald, director of surgery and site director at the Charlton Avenue hospital. “We don’t know why we’re seeing more folks coming in.””
Here’s a CTV article from 2013 saying hospitals are ‘overwhelmed’:
“As both the flu and the stomach infection nororvirus sweep across Canada, hospitals all over the country say they are being pushed to the limit.
In Edmonton and Calgary, the spike of influenza, influenza-like illness and gastrointestinal infections have put hospitals over maximum capacity.
Many Edmonton hospitals are operating at more than 100 per cent capacity because of the surge of patients needing admission. In Calgary, occupancy is above 100 per cent in major hospitals and over 100 per cent on certain medical units.”
Here’s a Globe & Mail story from 2011:
“A surge in seasonal influenza cases in parts of the country has clogged hospital emergency rooms, postponed elective surgeries and resulted in at least one public health unit expanding its flu-shot clinics.
The number of patients showing influenza-like symptoms continues to increase across the country, but has been particularly high in parts of Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec. Health officials say patients with respiratory problems inundated emergency departments during the holiday period in particular, putting a heavy strain on resources.”
“Some hospitals in Toronto and Winnipeg have had to cancel elective surgeries as they care for flu patients.”
A failed system, a constant crisis
Year after year, across the country, there were stories of an overwhelmed and overstretched healthcare system.
This is exactly what should be expected from a socialist system.
Socialist systems – with their centralized resource allocation controlled by politicians and bureaucrats – are inefficient and unable to respond to changing circumstances.
Without price signals in the system, it is impossible to allocate resources effectively, which results in an ongoing combination of waste and shortages.
Socialist systems also aim to provide the lowest possible level of service while still claiming ‘everyone’ is covered.
So, everyone in Canada can theoretically access healthcare, but that healthcare is often low quality.
Further, it is highly debatable whether we truly have universal healthcare, even at the present moment.
If you are forced to wait over a year for treatment or for a specific procedure, you clearly don’t have ‘access’ to healthcare.
The private system that bails out Canadian healthcare
One of the biggest ironies in Canada today is the fact that so many people demonize the American healthcare system, despite that system unintentionally bailing out Canada’s socialist system.
Prior to covid, many Canadians would go to the US for treatment, where they could pay for the healthcare they needed. This eased pressure on the Canadian system, which allowed us to maintain the fiction that it was available to all.
If not for the American privatized system helping to alleviate some of the demand, Canada’s healthcare system would have looked even worse.
A socialist healthcare system makes Canada more socialist overall
It can’t be lost on us that the failure of our socialist healthcare system during covid has been used as the pretext for power-hungry politicians to take away our rights and freedoms.
As Ontario & Quebec return to harsh lockdowns, they do so claiming that it must be done to ‘protect’ the healthcare system.
Thus, politicians and bureaucrats use their failure to manage the socialized system as the ‘reason’ to impose socialist-style restrictions on rights and freedoms.
The more our socialist healthcare system fails, the more socialist our politicians attempt to make the rest of the country.
Additionally, the devastation lockdowns inflict on businesses leads governments deeper into debt. They then give out more and more printed money, in lieu of actual economic exchange.
More private healthcare
The fact of the matter is that without economic incentives, and without price signals, our healthcare system will remain mired in mediocrity and failure.
We cannot accept the idea that the failure of the healthcare system leads to a restriction on freedoms. Either we are a free country, or we aren’t.
“Should we let people pay for healthcare services so we can expand hospital capacity?
Or should we shut down the economy for another year?”
Should we let people pay for healthcare services so we can expand hospital capacity?
Or should we shut down the economy for another year?
— Stephen Taylor (@stephen_taylor) January 2, 2022
If politicians and the public are so concerned about the fragility of our system, then we must acknowledge that more private healthcare is needed.
Sure, we can keep part of the system public, but that public sector must be forced to compete with private sector alternatives, for all types of healthcare services.
It’s time we start acknowledging this reality and have the courage to advocate for it.