André Marcheterre, The Future of Health Care in Canada
It is quite obvious that our health care system, as it is today, has serious deficiencies. The financial realities of today's health care system have resulted in a decline in access to the system and given the limitations of government capability or willingness to pay, we are faced with a difficult reality: either we live more wisely within our means, or abandon any pretense to free, comprehensive and equitable access to health care. A steadily rising demand for more services for more people who are living longer, coupled with an increasing availability of more expensive technologies has brought us to the crossroad between cost and quality of care.
How do we close the gap, maintain and even enhance access to services and technologies, and do that in a cost-efficient way? There are two major changes that need to be urgently implemented. Firstly, we must integrate all the players on focused partnerships. If we are to succeed in restructuring the health care system, we must do it as a team where all groups work together in an atmosphere fueled by expertise and goodwill. Secondly, we need to manage major diseases in an efficient, evidence-based system. It would mean identifying high-incidence, high-costs diseases, noting the best practices associated with the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases and then, using evidence, measuring the efficacy of these practices. The feedback from the data collected would serve to modify the current practices, until the system evolved to become more efficient, more cost-effective and therefore more accessible to its clientele.
There is a strong need to refine our current health care system which envisages key stakeholders working together to ensure that people have access to better quality care.
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