The Canadians are Cutting Doctors’ Medicare Reimbursements due to the Costs of an Aging Population

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 5th, 2013

Week in Review

The United Kingdom has national health care.  Which is struggling to meet the demands of an aging population.  And is currently working on cutting their health care spending by £20 billion ($31.8 billion) to help stretch their limited resources meet the demands of their aging population.

Canada has private health care providers but a single-payer system.  So it’s not quite national health care.  But it is somewhat universal.  And something the proponents of Obamacare would settle for if they can’t get national health care.  But like the UK the Canadians are struggling to meet the demands of an aging population (see ‘Future of health care’ hangs on medicare talks posted 5/3/2013 on CBC News).

More than 200 doctors have voted in favour of supporting a lawsuit against the provincial government over medicare cuts, says the head of the New Brunswick Medical Society.

The doctors, who gathered for an emergency meeting in Fredericton on Friday to discuss the matter, were unanimous, other than one abstention, said president Dr. Robert Desjardins…

Desjardins said doctors are still willing to help Health Minister Ted Flemming find ways to cut $20 million from the health budget, but first things first.

“First and foremost importance is respect of the actual signed agreement,” said Desjardins.

“There’s not much of an incentive to discus the future of medicare when there’s no plan on the table and the signed agreement isn’t respected. So from there, what are we talking about?”

In March, the government announced plans to cut funding for doctors who bill medicare for each service by $18.8 million to $425 million and to cap that amount for two years.

The medical society, which represents about 1,700 doctors, contends that violates a fee agreement that expires next March.

Cutting doctors’ Medicare reimbursements?  That’s how Obamacare plans on bringing down health care costs in the United States.  Guess cutting doctors’ Medicare reimbursements isn’t the panacea they thought it would be.  As Canadian doctors actually want pay commensurate with their education, skill and experience.  Imagine that.

Becoming a doctor isn’t easy.  That’s why few people in the population become doctors.  And why countries that don’t pay their doctors well have doctor shortages.  Like they often do in countries with national health care.  Or in countries with a single-payer system.  Who look to break contracts to pay their doctors less.  To help stretch their limited resources meet the demands of their aging population.

Just something to look forward to under Obamacare.  People will at first praise the government for punishing those who choose to make a profit off of other people’s suffering.  But when doctors start leaving the profession and these people have to wait months for an appointment because of the doctor shortage they will long for a return to the old days.  When we had the finest health care system in the world.  And doctors got rich for being the best in the world.  How it once was.  Before Obamacare.

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Canadian Doctors state that Human Life Begins at Birth and the Thing in the Womb before that is not Human

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2012

Week in Review

The Canadians aren’t redefining when life begins.  They’re just putting medical science behind the 400 year-old English common law that defines it.  Yes, the Canadian doctors are inserting themselves into one of the most contentious debates ever to consume mankind since the Protestant Reformation (see Opinion: doctors dodge hot-button life debate by Paul Schratz posted 8/20/2012 on The Vancouver Sun).

Canada’s doctors voted last week to take a political rather than medical position that human life begins at birth, in the process closing their eyes to science and the evidence of their own senses.

In a spectacular act of bio-redefinition that has many observers scratching their heads, the Canadian Medical Association voted to support the maintaining of a section of the Criminal Code of Canada that declares a child becomes a human being at the moment of birth…

So they’ve chosen the intellectually indefensible position that an unborn child, moments away from birth, is not human, which essentially means scores of medical textbooks, not to mention the entire field of fetal medicine, now need to be retired. After all, if doctors who are removing tumours or repairing spinal cords on unborn babies aren’t working on humans, one wonders why they would spend years training to be doctors rather than veterinarians.

If a life is only human at birth it does raise some questions.  A mother could smoke and drink during pregnancy as she wouldn’t be harming a human life.  Bad doctoring that results in birth defects would not cause harm to a human.  A new drug that has a dangerous side effect on an unborn life would not harm a human life.  Physical abuse that results in a miscarriage would not harm a human life (in the womb).  Such an act would only rise to the level of battery against the mother.  Not homicide of the unborn non-human life.  Sad as these events may be we would not be able to redress them through the courts.  As the courts are for people.  Humans.  Not things that aren’t human.  There are penalties for people found guilty of cruelty to animals.  But usually that’s because people consciously do these things.  They’re not accidents.  Or things that result un-expectantly from other actions.

But the current debate is not about changing the definition of when life begins.  It’s about leaving the definition as it is now.  Life begins at birth.  So it is confusing because we do act as if the preborn life within the womb is human.  So why do these doctors come out giving medical sanction to a 400 year-old English common law definition of life?  From an era some will say we weren’t all that smart?  Especially those who like to point to all that warfare between Protestants and Catholics around that time.  So it would appear that the Canadians are opening the door for a lot more prenatal harm in the womb.  Why?  Is it because they don’t respect human life?  That depends where you are in the span of human life.

It’s par for the CMA, however, which has been developing a habit recently of wading into political issues. At their annual meeting in Yellowknife, the MDs also passed a motion calling for a public debate that would lead to a free vote in the House of Commons on the issue of end-of-life care.

That echoes an editorial in their CMA Journal last month which called for a national debate on death and dying. The country’s leading medical journal said it’s time for Canadians to debate whether we are prepared to embrace “therapeutic homicide…”

So why is it that the same doctors who, when it comes to euthanasia, are in favour of debate and open to rethinking when life ends, are at the same time opposed to discussion that might lead to a rethinking of when life begins?

It’s especially curious since the issue of end-of-life care in Canada has been studied and voted on countless times — as recently as last November’s parliamentary committee on compassionate and palliative care, which called for improvements to palliative care and a commitment to a national suicide prevention strategy. The CMA welcomed that report, saying “End-of-life care is an area that requires urgent attention.”

Indeed, through the years and all the many debates, reports and votes on euthanasia and palliative care, there has been one consistent conclusion: Parliamentarians and Canadians want more and better end-of-life care, not euthanasia.

So if you’re sick and dying they do respect human life.  It’s just in the womb where they can take it or leave it.  So the in-the-womb life belief is more of a political belief than a medical belief.  So what are the politics behind it?  Ontario Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth’s Motion 312.  Which seeks to redefine when life begins.  In the womb.  Or out of the womb.  The fear of Motion 312 is, of course, what will happen to abortion?  As the law is right now you can do anything you want to the life in the womb.  Because it’s not human.  Which includes having an abortion.  However, if they redefine the beginning of human life as occurring at a time earlier than when exiting the womb it could make abortion murder.  Like an assault and battery that results in a miscarriage.  Which could really complicate the abortion debate.

So those who are old, sick and in pain have no choice in ending their life.  They must live and suffer even if they want to die.  As doctors will protect these lives to the bitter end.  But a baby in the womb?  You’re on your own, kid.  The best we can offer you is to wish you good luck.  And this coming from the doctors we entrust our lives to.  It makes you wonder what’s next.  Limited use of euthanasia?  As determined by the state for political reasons.  Such as the growing cost of health care can’t justify treating people that can’t fully recover and live a normal life again?  Without continuing expensive medical treatments?  Anything is possible when you play fast and loose with defining the beginning and ending points of human life.

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Canadian Doctors earn too much according to Canada’s Health Minister

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 21st, 2012

Week in Review

This one is for the U.S. doctors.  Here’s what you can look forward to working under Obamacare (see Number of millionaire doctors in Ontario appalls health minister by Jonathan Jenkins and Antonella Artuso posted 7/16/2012 on the Toronto Sun).

Ontario’s millionaire medics are overpaid, the province’s health minister said Monday.

“I was appalled when I saw how many were making in excess of $1 million,” Health Minister Deb Matthews said Monday of a list that in 2010, was 407 names long. “Some doctors are getting paid too much…

The Toronto Sun revealed last week through an access to information request Ontario’s top billing doctor in 2010 made a staggering $6.4 million and that five other physicians pulled in more than $3 million that year.

The list of 407 million-plus earners is dominated by cardiologists, radiologists and ophthalmologists.

Cardiologists operate on the human heart.  Radiologists study internal imaging to diagnose things like brain tumors.  And they use radioactive materials to treat patients.  Ophthalmologists do things with the human eye.  Allowing us to maintain our vision.  All complex and demanding fields.  Requiring enormous amounts of education.  Training.  Continuing education.  Long hours.  And enormous stress levels.  Not everyone can do this.  Some don’t even want to try.  Some would rather do something far easier.  Like working in the government.  Where they can tell these hard-working doctors that they make too much money.  And tell them how much money is enough for them.

“Ontario’s (doctors) are the best paid in the country,” she said. “Alberta is close but I can’t imagine that there’s any place else that they could earn more.

“Tell me where. There is just nowhere where they will be better compensated.”

Once upon a time these doctors could have gone to the U.S.  But that was then.  Now we have Obamacare.  Which won’t treat them any better.  So U.S. doctors take a look to what’s happening up north.  This is your future.

What is amazing is that they say these doctors are earning too much.  Yet these same people don’t say superstars that make tens of millions per year earn too much.  And they never performed a life-saving operation.  Or treated a person for cancer.  Or even gave the gift of sight to someone.  In fact, you could say that if anyone won life’s lottery it was these superstars.  For they didn’t have to earn it like these doctors did.  And even if these celebrities worked hard (not ‘doctor’ hard but hard) they still live a far better life than these doctors could ever hope to live.

Of course this is what happens in a national health care system.  When it serves an aging population.  Health care costs rise while the number of taxpayers fall.  Requiring higher taxes on the fewer remaining taxpayers.  And when that no longer works you have to cut costs.  As in doctor compensation.  And when that doesn’t work anymore you have to ration medical care.  Which they are doing in national health care systems everywhere.  As they will be in the United States thanks to Obamacare.

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Some Canadian Doctors are Apparently Putting Profits before People

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 5th, 2012

Week in Review

The proponents of national health care say we need a national health care system like Canada has.  Where they put people before profits.  Which is what Obamacare will do.  Or so they say.  At least they hope it will make the American health care system as good as the Canadian one.  Which has stripped out of it the evil influences of capitalism.  And financial profit (see Manitoba MDs warned about limiting patient complaints posted 5/3/2012 on CBC News Health).

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba says it’s concerned that a growing number of doctors are asking patients to book separate appointments for each medical complaint they have.

The college, which governs medical practices in the province, is worried that doctors who limit a patient’s complaints during a visit may end up missing important information…

The woman’s husband, Bruce Angus, told CBC News earlier this week that his wife, Samantha, had originally gone to the doctor to discuss her back pain.

But when Samantha tried to mention that she was also having chest pains, the doctor allegedly said, “One appointment, one problem” and walked out of the office, according to Angus.

Samantha Angus, 60, died of a heart attack last week, about two weeks after that medical appointment took place…

Pope said the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) publishes a handbook that advises independent doctors on how to run their practices.

“You should consider how to educate your patients that the time you can offer for a ‘regular’ office appointment may limit the number of medical issues that can be addressed during a single visit,” the CMA’s guidelines for private practice states.

Pope admitted that doctors do have an incentive to limit the amount of time spent with each patient. Doctors are compensated by the province based on each visit.

Financial incentive?  In the Canadian health care system?  Say it isn’t so.  But there it is.  A system just dripping with profits.  And profit seekers.  So much for putting people before profits.

Are the Canadian doctors evil?  No.  They’re just rational.  They’ve spent a lot of time and money to become doctors.  And a national health care system doesn’t want to reward them for all of that hard work.  Instead, they want to make these doctors serve out of the goodness of their hearts.  Not for a large paycheck.  While the politicians no doubt make as much if not more than these doctors.  Without the time or money these doctors spent.  Either that or Canadians are just as greedy as Americans.

Something else to expect in the coming era of Obamacare.

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