EDITORIAL: Canadian health-care is failing us

Mar 28, 2024 | Editorial, OP-ED

The focus on data in Canadian health care often obscures the individuals behind it. Large corporations and political parties often overlook the human aspect of the data.

Canadian healthcare, for many, is not free.

The College of Family Physicians said the Canadian healthcare system lacks when it comes to supporting Canadians and employees alike.

“More than six million people in this country don’t have access to a regular family doctor. Family physicians themselves are overwhelmed, burnt out and suffocating under administrative tasks. Many are leaving the profession,” the college said.

Our nation is in a health-care crisis, and it seems it will only be getting worse.

Statistics Canada reported that there will be an increasing need for health-care support and response from the Canadian system.

“The aging population, rising rates of chronic disease and other changing health trends have emphasized the need for the health care system to maintain and continue to develop the capacity to respond to the changing needs of Canadians,” Statistics Canada reported.

Healthcare planning and decisions have not been made for the benefit of Canadians, but rather with politics and large corporations in mind. We are failing our citizens by refusing to offer monetary support where it is most needed.

Statistics Canada reported that on average, total health expenditures paid to hospitals and physicians declined while spending on drugs has greatly increased.

This is not what Canadians need. Canadians need a health care system focused on patient care rather than medications.

Jeff Nicholls, founder of Minden Paper, a research-focused health care advocacy group, along with his team, is committed to studying, understanding and uncovering the inner workings of Canadian public health institutions.

“It really does seem like health care planning and provision decisions are being made not really on the basis of evidence, not really on the basis of anything related to patient outcome,” Nicholls said.

“Unlike any time before, the level of political involvement in health care planning and provision has become a bit outrageous,” he said.

Ontario is currently facing a health-care worker shortage, greatly affecting patient care. Workers are deterred from working by the long hours, gruelling shifts and the overfilling of patient beds.

On April 1, nurses will be given a three per cent raise, once again, to support filling open positions in hospitals in Ontario, an official release from the Ontario Nursing Association (ONA) and Participating Hospitals said.

The official release from the agreement reported there must be an increase in wages to promote a positive and smooth work environment.

“ONA members are leaving their jobs because vacancies were not being filled, creating unmanageable workloads leading to burnout and exhaustion driving employees from the workplace,” the statement said.

The report said Ontario hospitals were pushed beyond capacity in the face of the pandemic.

“While capacity has increased, new beds were added when the pandemic began and more than 3,000 additional beds were announced in 2022 with 1,700 of those already up and running,” the report said.

Ontario filled beds without properly preparing their nursing and health-care staff. Growth in intake meant a loss of health-care workers and the effectiveness of the health-care environment.

The health care system is not simply failing because of our governments. A combination of lack of financial and beneficial support from provincial and territorial governments, along with our inability to properly staff and offer beneficial care to those who need it most.