Canada’s Crown Corporation of Health

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Health problems, everyone’s favourite topic, are not unique to the Pontiac. It seems every Canadian has a health-care gripe.

And just as everyone has a horror story of a service (or non-service) from their local health care provider, healthcare workers themselves are the most over-worked and under-supported, in Canada’s workforce.

And, a lot of people also have “solutions” to propose. Here’s mine: get politicians out of health care.

More specifically, how about having many, many fewer political people making health care decisions, its delivery, funding, decentalisation, etc?  Is there not some way to turn the healthcare system into a crown corporation of some sort?

My ordinary-guy understanding of crown corporations (c.c.) is that they deal with sectors or services that are “in the national interest” but which are not being adequately provided by the private sector; the c.c. model means the service gets provided, presumably without price gouging of customers (as in the US model), and clearly outside the influence of politicians and private venture capitalists.

This should reduce the bureaucracy which plagues every provincial ministry of health.

The feds should manage national health, but provinces won’t give up their control, despite the headaches and constant cost over-runs.  So the feds have to buy the system from the provinces (over time), paying the provinces’ entire budget for years to come. Resist that, provinces! And the provinces could then be sued. Not a single province has fulfilled its obligations — based on real needs — and thus can be sued for failing their mandate. But a voluntary approach is quickest, cleanest and happiest. Using market-place management practices means fewer middle-men and more front line workers to handle the needs.  And, training those front line people — MDs and nurses — will become the responsibility of the Corporation, if no other source of training is available. Another benefit for the provinces’ budgets.

Many of the problems plaguing our system are the result of short-sighted political decisions, usually based on the next election. Pauline Marois, head of the PQ gov’t, shut a lot of nurse training capacity because she felt there was a surplus of nurses.  Later the gov’t, headed by a brain surgeon, with an MD as his Minister of Health, consolidated so many health regions –putting the floundering Gatineau bureaucracy in charge of Pontiac’s provincially-acclaimed health jurisdiction.

This is the reason for crown corporations.  A federal, not provincial, crown corporation gets rid of Canada’s many differing jurisdictions, one province to the next.

Like Air Canada, SaskTel, BC Ferries, Hydro-Quebec and the Bank of Canada, “The Canadian Federal Health Corporation” has a nice, efficient ring to it, don’t you think?