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75% Of Canadians Unhappy With Current Health Care Delivery. What Now?

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The latest Angus Reid survey of Canadian attitudes to government-run healthcare says only 25 per cent of Canadians believe their provincial governments are doing a good job of managing health care delivery. That conclusion tends to support my personal contention, that our current health care regime is an inefficient, bureaucrat-heavy failure, if its purpose is to provide timely across-the-board health care to all Canadians.

Though it is very good in some areas (cardiac care, for example, as I can personally attest) in far too many others it simply does not meet the bar, and the public should be up in arms until real, meaningful efficiencies are introduced and service delivery improved to meet the actual needs of Canadian patients. Until that happens, little is likely to change.

With almost 75 per cent of Canadians apparently dissatisfied with the status quo, only a small minority of the population is OK with the current system. I suspect, but cannot prove, that they have likely had minimal contact with it lately and are comforted by driving past impressive health care facilities they haven’t needed- yet. Or their modest needs have been met with a brief yearly visit to their doctor, if they are lucky enough to have one. Or they may just have been lucky, and been in the right place at the time to have had their needs met promptly and efficiently, unlike vast numbers of their fellow Canadians.

If that’s the case, good for them, but as millions of others can tell you, the lineups for many other procedures are unacceptably long, we don’t have nearly enough doctors and nurses, and the long waiting lists for many procedures are a disgrace. A few years ago I had to wait for more than eighteen months to see a specialist, having been in serious, almost constant undiagnosed pain most of that time, but unable to book an appointment anywhere. When I finally got the appropriate tests I was scheduled for major surgery almost right away, an operation I should by rights have had a year and a half earlier. I have a friend right now who has been waiting for more than two years for surgery to correct a similar problem, and while the government’s Covid policies are being blamed for the delay, my experience was pre-Covid.

Similar stories abound from coast to coast, as, according to Angus Reid, a large majority of Canadians now acknowledge. When 75 per cent of Canadians express dissatisfaction with any government-run service, something is obviously very wrong. But I question why that number isn’t even higher, and why our political masters continue to largely ignore that reality and instead slap bandaids on a system that itself needs major surgery.

I wish Reid’s pollsters had asked our provincial politicians how many of them cannot find a family doctor, and how long they or their families have had to wait for needed treatment. I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure I know the answers; “none”, and “not very long”. And therein may lie the answer to why more isn’t being done to fix a system that an overwhelming majority of Canadians believe is broken.

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