Health care in Canada is offered through a publicly financed health care system. It is without charge at the point of use, and private bodies offer the majority of its services. The Canadian healthcare system is governed by the requirements of the Canada Health Act. The Canadian government, through this act, guarantees the quality of healthcare through federal norms. However, the government does not play a part in daily care or gather any details concerning a person’s health, which is private and only shared to a physician. Free health care is a system has relatively been successful in Canada and a number of other countries. Offering free health care services is very important for a country (Hatch & Graham, 2004). There are explicit benefits to implementing free for all health care in a country.
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Another importance of implementing a free health care system is that they can be cost effective when they are administratively simple (Steinbrook, 2006). The free health care system helps to cut administrative Costs in a country’s health system. Since health care will be centralized under one administration, free health care would eliminate competition, and consequently the cost of health care would considerably fall. In the absence of a free health care system, there exist replications in claims and procedures owing to the various, diverse health plans. A free health plan also saves time for the processing of claims; therefore, it could be managed in a smoother and a lot more cost-efficient manner. In addition, employers are, under a free health care system, not required incur many expenses in order to offer health insurance to their workforce. A free health care system, customary under a single administration in a country, eliminates the need, for contract negotiations hence helping in cost cutting. Since there is no need for advertisement, as there is not much competition going on, a free health care system further leads to cost cutting and resources are concentrated on important tasks.
A major criticism concerning the Canadian health care systems, is the amount of time spent as waiting time in health care facilities. Whether it is waiting is for a consultant, key optional surgery e.g. hip replacement, or special procedures, for example, radiation for cancer patients, waiting times in Canada is caused by a myriad of factors (Fradet, Aprikian, Dranitsaris, et al, 2006). In Canada, the waiting time is set in regards the ease of use of medical services in a particular zone and by the comparative need of the patient requiring treatment (Esmail, Walker, & Bank, 2007). There is no solitary cause for longer wait; rather, there are numerous, and complex causes of longer wait times.
A 2008 report issued out by Health Canada in 2008 integrated data on reported wait times for diagnostic services (Health Canada, 2008). The average wait time for diagnostic services, for example, MRI and CAT scans is a fortnight and with 89.5% of operations waiting for less than 3 months (Health Canada, 2008). The same report indicates that the average wait time to consult a physician is a just marginally over a month with 86.4% of patients waiting for a period less than 3 months (Health Canada, 2008). The average wait time for surgical procedures is marginally over 4 weeks with 82.2% of patients having to wait for less than 3 months (Health Canada, 2008).
A major cause for long the waiting time in the Canadian health system includes badly organized services. In the Canadian heath system, there is marked inefficiencies evidenced by the acute lack of synchronization amongst all those concerned in service delivery. Poor strategic planning slows down the health system and erects blocks in offering surgeries and additional services. Deficiency of health care workers in Canada is another reason for the long wait times in the health system. At times, patients do not get to see a physician promptly, or at all occasionally, they go to the emergency rooms (ERs), lengthening wait times in ERs. Though the number of physician in the Canadian health system has increased, it has not matched the population increase in the same period. This shortage has been caused by a fall in the sum of foreign physicians coming to Canada, a general aging of the personnel, irregular supply of physicians, a rising proportion of female doctors who are likely to put in fewer hours and the fact that more medical students preferring a specialty over general practice. Unless this problem is solved, the wait time in Canadian health system will continue to increase.
In Canadian health system, Physicians do not work as a team. Most physicians’ offices work separately. All arrangements, and measures that precede surgery are administered by each individual office; this leads to waits and inefficiencies at each step. Another possible cause for the long wait times in the Canadian health system is the reduction in hospital services that happened between 1988 and 2002 (Esmail, Walker, & Bank, 2007). For instance, there were sixty four thousand hospital beds cuts in the period. Another cause for the long waits in health systems, in Canada, is the need for additional long-term care and home care. The shortage of funds that lead to under financing of home care and residential long-term care, have augmented wrong and unnecessary hospitalization, and increased strain on emergency rooms in hospitals. Another reason for the increase in the wait times in the health system is the success of the program such that there are better outcomes for medical services. When the services were improved, additional people can now more people can profit from them. For example, numerous patients can now more than ever before have medical operations that normally would have been too risky and perilous a few years ago.
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As such, efforts for reducing wait times will necessitate system-wide improvements. Potential policy measures to reduce the waiting time in the Canadian health system can be centered on either the demand (which includes new technology, patients’ outlook, cost distribution and mechanisms for setting systems) or the furnishing side (includes with the medical center and personnel capacity and the health-sector efficiency). Historically, supply or furnishing side approach has been the overriding strategies that manage long wait times. The health sector can implement the politically correct policy of aiming funding at escalating hospital capacity and workforce. The country ought to put into place a multifaceted assortment of supply-based initiatives that tackle fundamental issues such as the sector’s efficiency and structure revamp. Demand-side approaches should also be developed. The government should start to utilize unequivocal criteria to give precedence to access to surgical procedures. The government should also delegate budgets to general practitioners to parallel specialist-referral conclusions to the monetary cost. Other mechanisms that can be put into place include the demand-side leaning mechanisms such as fresh models of health care, for example, personnel substitution and changing demand from public to private health services providers.
To reduce wait times, the Canadian government needs to implement system-wide expansions in the health care system. The government should fund more pilot projects to find out what goes on in hospitals and regions that are already significantly cutting wait times. The health care system should have systems where common waiting lists are used. For instance, patients with a common problem waiting for a particular practitioner go into the same list. The health care sector should put more efforts into expanding teamwork to eliminate duplication of duties and improve harmony. Modern electronic information system should also be used as well as putting more finds into community care.
In conclusion, a total eradication of waiting times is not good or ideal. The lists should come up through a process of prioritization founded on the doctor-determined medical necessity and the procedure’s threat as contrasted to patient’s capacity to pay. Waiting lists can help patients. However, the waiting list should be not being so long to put the life of the patients in danger. The government of Canada should put more effort into solving the issue.
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