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HLTHAGE 1AA3 (264)


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McMaster University
Health, Aging and Society
Geraldine Voros

HEALTH CARE IS BEST ALLOCATED BY MARKETS Health care is a prevailing issue in society that concerns Canada as a whole. Canadians make health care a priority in their lives. Getting the proper health care service is needed to survive and sustain a healthy life style. In order to provide quality services we need to improve our health care system by improving our current flaws in the system, these flaws include poor quality in services, poor government facilitation and lack of updates in technology. With many solutions to solve this problem the broad solution is to have a market based capitalist perspective, as I believe the issues are rooted from government run health care systems. In order to better serve our citizens, our economy would benefit with a private health care system, this would be the best option for our country. I have focused on comparing Canada and the United States to prove that health care is best allocated in a market setting because United States is privately run and Canada is not. The Canadian health care services are declining in quality as the years go by. This is caused by the lack of doctors available which leads to long wait times for surgeries and referrals to specialists. As studied by Peter Coyte in a research project focusing on the comparing the quality in health care between Canada and the United States. This study proved to show the wait times in Canada were increasingly long then in the United States by double the amount of time with the statistical evidence “ The median waiting time for knee replacement from the time surgery was planned was three weeks in the United States and eight weeks in Ontario.” (Coyte “et al”1994) This statistic proves to show that Canadians with a government run system wait longer for surgery, which causes further pain and restricts one in their everyday life activities in comparison to a privately run system where they receive services faster. 1 HEALTH CARE IS BEST ALLOCATED BY MARKETS Although this is a non-threatening example and can cause people’s health to decline rapidly, in addition, wait times affect other aspects of their lives including family, friends and jobs from the additional stress concerning uncertain test results. In addition to waiting for results, people also incur undue stress waiting to get an appointment with a specialist. In 2001 a survey was conducted on patients who have received medical attention and patients who had to wait to receive medical attention, it was reported that “ 40 percent of those who said that waiting for services affected their lives; Diminishing health status; problems with activities of daily living; worry, anxiety and stress for family and friends; and loss of work or income were also cited as effects of waiting for care.” (Sanmartin, Houle, Berthelot et al2001) This is prime example of how wait times not only affect the individual but harm their surroundings as well. With a decrease in wait times for appointments and surgeries it will reduce stress, anxiety and the severity of illness for many patients as well as their families. In addition, not only does this affect clinical and surgical attention but the quality of nurses is declining due to the lack of job satisfaction. Nurses within Canada are feeling they put more time and effort in at work then the gratification they receive from their occupation. The nurses refer to this as a “burnout”. Dissatisfaction leads to a decline in performance from the lack of motivation in a workplace setting. A study conducted on Ontarian nurses provided information that 41 percent of nurses are unsatisfied with their jobs. Patients reported that 14.4 percent of the unsatisfied workers unable to properly perform their jobs due to there lack of motivation as noted in figure two and three (Aiken, Clarke&Douglass 2002). This forecasts a negative decline in the quality of services 1 HEALTH CARE IS BEST ALLOCATED BY MARKETS provided to patients. This reflects on our health care system as a whole and could receive a negative reputation about our overall health care system. Furthermore, having a government run health care system has a poor taxation policy and is unrealistically sustainable. Canada’s taxation system is an example of an unmaintainable tax system. This is due to the issue that “baby boomers” are aging and will require more health care services. This will result in a rise in taxes; if they remain the same value then there will be an even bigger decrease in the quality of government run health care. An article written by Mr. Marzouk, from the University of Toronto, studied how our health costs are going to change in the near future. He calculated that health care would increase by “That aging alone will raise total per capita health care costs is an established fact. Due toaging, expenditures on institutional services will riby 1.5 to 2 percent annually and per capita spending on physician services will rise by about .3 percent annually.”(Marzouk, 1991) This increase in health services demanded will be reflected on our tax dollars negatively as they will rise so we can afford the increase in over all costs of more doctors and more services required. This may become an unaffordable tax system. In this scenario it would make more sense to have a privately owned health care system to redu
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