Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ralph Klein saves Public Healthcare

Now, I never thought I'd be writing that headline, but its true.

As reported elsewhere, a pilot project in Calgary is recieving kudos and cheers from all quarters. From the stories, it appears that this project, which will run until April 2006, followed many of the suggestions made by a recent study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

How did they do it? Well, by re-organizing and streamlining the system, to allow for better management of patient care and access to services, using better case mangagement techniques, doubling up on operating room availabitlity and by sinking an extra $20 Million into the project.

"The province provided funding to support an additional 1,200 hip and knee surgeries during the project. As of November 23, 277 replacements have been completed in Edmonton’s Capital Health Region and 180 replacements have been completed in Calgary." Edmonton Journal.

That means that the $20 Million breaks down to between $16,666 and $43,763 of ADDITIONAL money per operation (over and above what the would ordinarily be spent).

In other words, more investment and better organization fixed this.

This is not lost on the Alberta Government either.

"In January, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein first announced his "third way" health care plan for the province. It would allow patients to pay for upgrades to their health care if they could afford to

Alberta Health Minister Iris Evans said the pilot project is not a step towards that plan, it's just a more efficient way of delivering health care.

"I think the first commandment that this system functions under is a strong public system," Evans said. She touted the project as a success for Alberta health care. " From CTV News. [emphasis mine]

Better organization and better funding can fix wait-times and improve healthcare. Now who would have thought of that?

Thanks Ralph. And good job Alberta.


At 11:30 AM, Blogger Robert McClelland said...

There's also a similar program running in BC that's getting good results. Sorry, no link, I heard about it on the tube.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Nastyboy said...

Us hillbillies get a good idea every now and then. I read about this when it began and I thought it was a good approach.

At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That means that the $20 Million breaks down to between $16,666 and $43,763 of ADDITIONAL money per operation (over and above what the would ordinarily be spent)."

That is alot of 'additional' money.

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Proving that re-investment is one of the things that drastically reduces wait-times. Considering the Billions that the Liberals and various provincial governments cut out of healthcare over the last 12 years, I'd be willing to bet its still not as much per operation as has been removed.

Considering the results, its a good investment.

At 9:25 PM, Blogger DazzlinDino said...

One problem Mike, did you hear Layton telling Ralph to lay off today, why on earth would he be against this? Ralph meddled with the system, and proved it viable...

At 1:25 AM, Blogger Nastyboy said...

What Dino said.

btw, Merry Christmas to you and your family Mike.

I have a list of special Christmas wishes to you and many of the other bloggers I like and respect back at my blog.

At 8:14 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Well guys, he wasn't scolding Ralph over this, it was over his plans to continue to download to private providers despite the findings in this study. This study shows that healthcare can be provided efficiently and effectively through the public system (the use of some private doctors and clinics was incidental and not the main cause of the sucess - it could easily have been done in totally public and still achieved the results).

Hack is defending public healthcare. Even Ralph says he's the only one really doing it.

I for one can honestly congratulate Ralph and the Alberta government for a job well done in this study and still criticize it for still wanting to download to the provably more expensive and lower quality private system. I suspect that is what Jack is really criticizing him for.

Clearly now, its no longer about practical considerations, its about ideology - even when it can be shown to be better, even when it can be shown that private healthcare isn't needed to fix the system, Ralph still wants a private system introduced, solely because he thinks the government shouldn't be involved. It doesn't matter if its more efficient or less espensive, "public"=bad.

Now, given the results of this study, that just doesn't make sense, does it?

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Sara said...

In response to your childcare,

If I took in someone elses kids then the state would pay me. Does that not make daycare workers "welfare moms"?

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Mike said...

No that would make you a daycare worker.

And the state would not pay you unless you were licenced to meet the health and safety standards.

Otherwise you would be a babysitter. None of these plans cover babysitting.

You see, this could be a great business opportunity.

My "welfare mother"crack was directed at you to point out a bit of hypocracy. Conservatives are usually the first to scream about welfare mothers being paid to saty at home and have kids on welfare. Yet the CPC plan is essentially that, escept it goes to nice middle class folks. So why is it ok for you to get money to stay at home, but its a hjorrible wast e of tax dollars to support the poor to do the same thing?

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Candace said...

Mike is the "welfare mother" crack from CPC MPs? or small or large (c) conservatives? Because there is, after all, a difference. And I'd rather see a "welfare mom" become a "homecare provider" than stay on welfare, but that's just my opinion. Under Jack or Paul's plan, that could never happen; she would remain a "welfare mom" or would have to spend cash & time (not paid by welfare under existing rules, I think) to become qualified as a daycare worker.

Which plan works better for Sara and her neighbors' kids? Jack's or Stephen's?

At 11:59 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Candace, if you read the blog entry below this one, you'll see that having daycare will allow a "welfare mother" (and by that I literally mean a mother on the provincial welfare roles) to get a job and get off of welfare, because she will have an option. Right now, most of these mothers, in Ontario at any rate, have to stay home and raise their kids and become stuck on welfare. Tht job will pay way better than welfare and she will be a net contributor to society. Why with a daycare spot, the mother could go back to school as well.

I realize my remark was snarky, but the point I was trying to make is that it is usually the (c)Conservatives that say those women are "welfare bums" and should get a job - "why should I pay for someone to sit around and have babies". I lived though Mike Harris here in Ontario and that was a very common sentiment. So I find it a bit odd now to hear (c)Conservatives claim they want to get money to stay at home and have kids. Its ok for the government to pay middle class women that don't need daycare to do this, but not poor, single mothers on welfare?

Jack's plan will give money AND provide the spots so those mothers can get any job they want or go to school. I'm not too sure what Paul's plan even is, except to give money to the provinces.

At 3:31 AM, Blogger Candace said...

Hey, try being a conservative single mom. Sheesh. Automatically labelled as a slutty, homewrecking welfare git.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Sara said...

Maybe the welfare moms want to stay home and raise their own children. Would that be so wrong? Oh wait your saying because she is on welfare and a mom she is not a professional caregiver or productive in society....
Hmm that is more Liberal thinking to me...

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Hey, I'm in the NDP - if you want to give our more welfare money, be my guest.

But let's not forget the 'welfare' and other moms that WANT to work, but can't with what we have now...

At 3:41 AM, Blogger Candace said...

Parenting is difficult, single parenting moreso. When our society decides to make it more affordable to stay home & collect welfare while raising children, and at the same time stigmatize that choice, then there is something seriously wrong.

When my daughter was an infant, a friend helped out with her inhome daycare (which she opened so she could raise her own kids at the same time, yet get paid for it by people like me). She was a lifesaver, and IMHO an entrepreneur.

Frankly, I get pretty pissed at hard-right conservatives that deplore (and would possibly like to ban) abortion yet refuse to help raise the child. On the flip side, I get equally pissed at liberals (both L and those who follow Jack) who deem that parents are incapable (or at least somehow inferior to "professionals") of raising their own children.

I see this as more of a quagmire than any war in the middle east - that at least has some sort of end possible.

At 7:14 AM, Blogger Mike said...


For the record, noone that I know of (in the NDP at least) thinks that a parent is incapable or inferior to proffessionals in raising their kids. For us this whole daycare issue boils down to the fact that there are some families that are unable to do that - both spouses MUST work, so they need daycare. As I have said in the other thread in response to Adam and others, it would be nice to fix the economy so that one parent could stay home, but that would mean massive intrusion and messing with the market and the economy. Even the NDP wouldn't do that.

So providing a good daycare system as the next best thing to help these parents have choice (I know people that can't work because they can't find any daycare at any price) and this will allow them to save money and get ahead (In Quebec, the cost for daycare dropped from $38 to $14 per day). And the kids get pretty good socialization, security and treatment.

And I agree about the hard-right folks. The irony being that if they supported more welfare programs or social assistance or even daycare, their would be more options to mothers and thus, less abortions.


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