Reviving Canada's Health Care SystemBook - 1999
Will medicare be there when I need it? Increasingly, Canadians are asking themselves this question. We hear the horror stories every day: hospital hallways lined with patients; long waiting lists for cancer treatment; a shortage of high-tech equipment. No wonder confidence in medicare, Canada's most cherished social program, has fallen to a historic low. In Code Blue: Reviving Canada's Health Care System, David Gratzer takes a close look at our health care system -- from the overcrowded emergency rooms of Montreal hospitals, to the thriving practices of Canadian doctors who have decided to head south. He explores our misconceptions about the American health care system, analyzes demographic trends, and exposes the emptiness of political debate on the subject. Gratzer argues convincingly that the problems with medicare stem from its very structure, a structure that will only continue to weaken as Canada's population grows older. Do the commonly proposed solutions to these problems -- increased funding, two-tiered services, better management, user fees -- really have what it takes to correct such major flaws? Gratzer concludes they don't, and looks at several models in other countries before writing his own prescription for ours. "In clear and concise prose, David Gratzer's Code Blue guides us through the dark corridors of Canada's deteriorating health care system. . . . In the end, Gratzer opens the window on a bright solution -- medical savings accounts -- and shows us how a health care system should operate, with patients in control. Code Blue is an important book that should launch a long-overdue debate over the most important issue facing Canada" (Terrence Corcoran, Editor, Financial Post). "Gratzer proposes a workable solution for the biggest public policy problem of the coming generation -- our government-controlled health-care monopoly. Our health care system isn't just sick; it's killing people. Canada needs Gratzer's new prescription" (Stephen Harper, President, National Citizens' Coalition).