February 6th, 2003
One of the PC health care reforms that Health Minister Tony Clement grudgingly introduced last year was the creation of "Family Health Networks".
80% of the doctors, according to last years predictions, would voluntarily subscribe to this system where a group of doctor is responsible for the health care needs of a group of patients. The "network" would be paid a fixed amount per patient.
The concept, socialistic in nature, was welcomed by both Liberals and NDP, who did not find much to criticize. This is another indication that the PCs are going out of their way to meet left wing expectations in preparation for the Ontario election.
The Family Health Network system gives no choice to patients. A patient can be seen by any one physicians of the group. It creates little competition between doctors and gives no incentive to doctors for doing a better than average job.
No wonder that to date only about 4% of the doctors subscribed to the new plan.
One criticism that the NDP found, according to former health minister Ruth Greer interviewed on CBC radio on February 5th, is "over-servicing".
You wouldn't want some people to be given better care than others, would you?
I find it hypocritical that the NDP is not concerned about "under-servicing".
After all, people who can afford it will always find an acceptable level of care, either in this country or abroad. But if you care about the poor and the sick, the concern should be that doctors on a fixed salary tend to spend less time and effort with the hard cases, the repeat cases and the chronic cases.
This is another indication that the left is more interested in equalization and government power, than the welfare of the sick and the poor.