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For a healthcare system that best serves all Nova Scotians

Health Network files complaint against College of Physicians

by Robert Devet

Dr. Timothy Bood and James Hutt of the NS Citizens' Health Network file an official complaint against the College of Physicians for what they believe is an endorsement by the college of healthcare privatization. Photo Robert Devet
Dr. Timothy Bood and James Hutt of the NS Citizens' Health Network file an official complaint against the College of Physicians for what they believe is an endorsement by the college of healthcare privatization. Photo Robert Devet
The information picket outside of the office of the College of Physicians and Surgeons on Bayers Road. Photo Robert Devet
The information picket outside of the office of the College of Physicians and Surgeons on Bayers Road. Photo Robert Devet

K'JIPUKTUK, HALIFAX - The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia regulates the medical profession. It licenses physicians and defines standards. It's where you go if you want to file a complaint against your doctor.

Now it wants to expand its mandate to include the regulation of private healthcare facilties.

But not because it is in favour of private healthcare, just because private healthcare is here to stay, the college argues.

"We're not supporting the privatization of medicine. We're just trying to respond to what's happening on the ground," college CEO Dr. Gus Grant told the Chronicle Herald.

For Dr. Timothy Bood, a family physician who practices in Halifax, this announcement by the college sounds too much like an endorsement of private healthcare. He finds Dr. Grant's explanation a bit disingenuous.

"That statement that private healthcare is the way of the future suggests an inevitability that we don't think is warranted," Dr. Bood tells the Halifax Media Co-op.

"If you look at the facts, private healthcare is poor healthcare. If you look at the facts private healthcare is not the way of the future, it is the way of the past."

Dr. Bood and other members of the Nova Scotia Citizens' Health Care Network were outside of the college's office on Bayers Road in Halifax to hold an information picket.

Later some members entered the reception area to file a formal complaint against the college's future plans.

The Health Network sees many issues with the privatization of healthcare.

For one, private healthcare is more costly and less efficient than its public counterpart.

"Knee replacement surgery in the public system costs roughy $-10,000. You go to a private clinic and the cost will be twice that," says Dr. Bood, blaming the need to turn a profit.

Bood also points to the United States where healthcare costs are much higher than in Canada and many European countries. But the quality of healthcare in the States is inferior, says Bood.

As well, private healthcare clinics acts as a drain on their public counterparts. Studies have shown that private clinics increase wait times for patients because they take workers out of the public system, Dr. Bood and the Health Network argue.

And it makes the healthcare system fundamentally unfair, because patients are treated based on ability to pay rather than their need, Bood says.

"It would be a great for the college to take a stand, to show that it is actually seriously concerned that we maintain a healthcare system that best serves all Nova Scotians, rather than a two-tier system where the wealthiest one per cent can go to the front of the line," says Bood.

 

See also:

Public healthcare advocates rally at Victoria Park

Coalition rates political parties on healthcare platform

Follow Robert Devet on Twitter @DevetRobert

 

 


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Topics: Health
466 words

Commentaires

Free choice or no choice?

" "Knee replacement surgery in the public system costs roughy $-10,000. You go to a private clinic and the cost will be twice that," says Dr. Bood, blaming the need to turn a profit.

As well, private healthcare clinics acts as a drain on their public counterparts. Studies have shown that private clinics increase wait times for patients because they take workers out of the public system, Dr. Bood and the Health Network argue.

And it makes the healthcare system fundamentally unfair, because patients are treated based on ability to pay rather than their need, Bood says."

-----

Questions for Mr. Bood and the Health Network:
1) What is the wait time for knee replacement surgery in Nova Scotia?

2) How many doctors and Nurses hase the NS health care system work in knee replacement surgery?  How many were hired in the last year to help alleviate the wait times for Knee replacement surgery?

3) Given that there is obviously more demand than supply and not all knee replacement surgeons can work for the monopoly govenerment health care system, would it not make sence to allow them to practice under the same standards of care as the monopolistic government system?

4) Would this not alleviate the strain on the current monopoly government system while providing needed jobs for the thousands of trained doctors and nurses that come out of Dalhousie University every year, most of whom are forced to take jobs away from home in the US or other major Canadian cities because local hospitals aren't hiring?  Would it also not help more people get back to a healthy lifestyle sooner rather than later?

5) Would these new jobs for recent grads help alleviate the massive student loan problems associated with todays government funded universities and government funded loan programs?

6) Would private clinics not encourage young workers to leave major cities, to take hire pay in smaller communities where medical facilities have been 'too costly' for government monopolistic services to be provided?

7) Is the unfairness of this privatized model any less unfair than you making more money than I do, for the same amount of time and energy put into a job?  Is it any less fair than paying politicians hundreds of thousands of dollars a year more than anyone who is paying taxes?  Any less unfair then any other government program that benefits some special group?  Any less fair than stealing someones money to give it to someone else who hasn't earned it?  Probably not.  Its probably more fair than any government program going, it just doens't benefit you or your organization..

8) If a human being made a consious decision to remove themselves from the public healthcare system because they were unhappy with their care, would you damn them to a live of no medical care due to your belief that its unfair to allow any human being a free choice of services?

I agree with arguments

I agree with arguments against privatization; the last thing we need is an American system, and all the problems with public healthcare can be traced back to underfunding. BUT private healthcare needs to be regulated and by the same standards as public care. Where else would I take a complaint, the Better Business Bureau? I don't see the college's action as an argument for privatization.

This isn't privitization, its competition

No one is advocating a US system, but some people, myself included, are advocating for competition in a government monopoly industry.

Funding is not the proplem.  47% of NS governments budget went to Health Care in 2013.

Problems:
- Doctors are overpaid.
- Bureaucrats are overpaid.
- North Americas have terrible eating habits.
- Poor advice from gov. experts and doctors.  Essentially we have reverted to societal white coat syndrome when it comes to all aspects of human health.  If the food pyramid says don't eat cholesterol (animal fat in all its forms) then everyone does it, because those are the experts, except they are not and they have been killing people with that advice since the oil industry was taken over (see The Oiling of America by Dr. Sally Fallon). 
- Most disease are preventable and related, including Alzeimers, strokes, heart disease, and cancer.  Preventable through the application of a proper human diet, which might be slightly different for every human being, but it certainly isn't the food pyramid, which reccommends that people eat low fat high carb (sugar) diets, that kills people (see wheat belly by Dr. William Davis).  If you are providing your body with what it needs and avoiding toxins, instances of disease will be low.  Unfortunately we live in a society that is the opposite of that.
- We have also created a society of risk takers by portraying athletes that partake in dangerous 'sports' as heros and idols.  More strain on the system that need not be there.  Society will be there to take care of me when I get injured and medical technology regardless of cost to society was invented so I could be repaired, so who cares, lets have fun.
- Doctors over prescribe medication.  Some believe it's necessary, other do so becuase they'll get a free trip to Cuba if they do.
- Prescription drug companies fund and run our universities research programs.  Doctors don't learn how to cure people, they learn how to cover up symptoms using pharmeceuticals so drug companies can sell more drugs.  Ask your local doctor how many hours of training he/she received in the field of nutrition as opposed to phareceuticals, and see how shocked you are.
http://www.chspr.ubc.ca/sites/default/files/file_upload/publications/201...
- Prescription drugs cost a fucking fortune, exasperating the problem of over prescription.

 

More problems than just privatization

This story was why I wanted to become a member here. "Care" provided in a private clinic has totally destroyed my life.

I've only begun to recover, 17 months later and it won't get any easier any time soon. What I have now that I didn't then, is information. I've found out a lot, on my own, because I've had no choice. 6 law offices have conflict with the person who owns the clinic and there are other barriers. In trying to find information, I found things I didn't want to find. I detail my struggles on my blog ( txphotos.blogspot.ca ) and update it when something happens, usually once a week.

This story is very relevant to me for reasons I've described above, so when I first heard of it (via Twitter) I went to the College's website to see if there was more information. This is the only information I found:

"College releases 2014-2016 Strategic Plan" - Nov 15, 2013.

 http://www.cpsns.ns.ca/DesktopModules/DNNArticleList/DNNArticleRSS.aspx?portalid=0&moduleid=725&tabid=73&cp=False&uid=-1

At the bottom of the PDF document it says "A Focus on the Future of the College: An agreed upon approach with government regarding the regulation of private medical or surgical facilities in Nova Scotia / That any private medicine in Nova Scotia is delivered safely and in appropriately accredited facilities."

Nothing bad about that, other than I thought the College already did this, where their mandate is regulation of the medical profession to protect the public. It extends to individual medical doctors and their standard of care but not overall...it seems. I think regulation of private facilities is definitely needed but I don't view it as an endorsement for private medicine per se. The provincial government giving money to Scotia Surgery (for example) is more of an endorsement, I think. Scotia Surgery is not run by anyone accountable under the Medical Act: they're dentists! I know because I've had to make it my business. The same people also own another private facility: Renu Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery on Spring Garden Road. Dentists too! The Dental Board is not aware that Renu exists, nor did it approve the name to be fit in the practice of dentistry. I received a reconstructive treatment there, believing they were physicians as advertised. They are far from it. Neither medicine nor dentistry knows what's going on but there is a great deal of money in it. It's all on my blog, where I show all of my work. Believe me, this is not something I expected...

I received treatment that ended up causing a huge scar and severely affected me emotionally and physically. I spent my life savings, lost my job, you name it. This dentist kept me in his care. I lost more and more and he did next to nothing. I found myself without food and applied for social assistance, which was denied. So, I went without. I found a job, but lost it due to the physical issues I experienced that had gone untreated for so long. I continued to blame myself, not realizing any of what I do now. I complained to the College of Physicians and Surgeons and prepared for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In reading all of the information, I felt confident I had a case. The College wrote back quickly, saying the cosmetic surgeon/physician/medical specialist I was treated by was a dentist and therefore not licensed by the College. In May 2014, I found myself without food or means. I applied for social assistance which was denied then approved about 2 weeks later. 

You might think I "sound" ok now. I'm not. This message took a long time to write and I wrote it from home, where I sit most of the time because of the situation I've been forced into. The information only became clear recently and it has been incredibly difficult to get a straight answer. Even worse that I've had to do so in the middle of such a crisis.

The College does not have jurisdiction over dentistry, and the Dental Board tells me the facial procedure (not involving dentistry whatsoever) is within the scope of his practice. I disagree, as well as it being quite a shock that he was not a medical doctor. He owns a medical clinic bearing no mention of dentistry, that the College doesn't regulate and the Dental Board does not know about. The issue of privitization is only a small piece of the puzzle and it won't be solved any time soon.

I receive $900 a month in social assistance, which leaves me unable to afford enough food. I pay for rent, cell phone and a buspass which leaves me about $200 a month for absolutely everything else. I require 8 prescription drugs, 4 of which are not at all covered by pharmacare. One costs more than the budget I have for food.

The cost of the treatment in this private care facility that set this into motion? $230.

Makes this article all the more disgusting:

http://feelrenud.ca/news/view/4

"Private clinics can help save public health care, surgeon says"

I disagree. I also disagree with the notion that private clinics are only afforded by the so-called "1 percent". Certainly the 1% in Nova Scotia are wealthy but not nearly as wealhy as the "1%" typically referred to. There are many private clinics offering many services, most of which accessible to a large number of Nova Scotian's. In many cases, clinics offer financing. I didn't require financing, as I had $10,000 or so in savings. Not anymore. I am far from being considered "the 1%", I just don't smoke, drink, do drugs, or have children. "People" don't know how little accountability there is and how little help there will be if something like this were to happen to them. My situation being pretty atypical, I suspect those less fortunate would fare even worse.

My blog: txphotos.blogspot.ca

Twitter: @whole_tooth32

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