Private in health: let’s stop being an ostrich!

“We seriously need to stop burying our heads in the sand and hoping that a miracle solution will come soon to save us… Let’s stop playing the bouquet.” (Photo: 123RF)

GUEST BLOG. It was an intervention by Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois that gave me the idea for the topic of this column. Good communicator that he is, he managed to make the “clip” of the day by claiming that private health just wasn’t working. One of the examples he gave to support his claim was that the private CHSLD system failed the test.

Unfortunately, and how coincidentally you will tell me, there has been radio silence on the current state of the public network and particularly on its performance over the last several decades. However, the same confirmation of the error is required. Warning, far from me the intention of rejecting the multiple management mistakes of the past on the backs of the network’s employees. After more than ten years working in the security department of the Sainte-Justine Hospital, I had the opportunity to be in the front row and observe the damage that management can do “through political promises” and through continuous restructuring.

Is the private healthcare system the answer to everything? no Is the public grid the answer to our needs? no We seriously need to stop burying our heads in the sand and hoping that some miracle solution will come and save us soon… Let’s stop playing the bouquet.

Nothing saddens me more than debates about the value of private healthcare. I often feel like I’m watching the same preseason duels with the Montreal Canadiens. The madness of the extremes seizes the subject and the nuances no longer exist!

Either the Canadians win the Stanley Cup this year, or we have to swap the whole team, including the machine that sharpens the skates… If someone utters the word privacy and health in the same sentence, sports fans instantly predict who’s calling the open lines night is coming back in force, promising thousands of deaths who cannot afford to pay for their emergency room consultations just outside hospitals.

Can we take a deep breath, please? Can we go back two or three steps to listen, analyze, test and quantify what the private sector could offer as a solution? Is it too much to ask just to explore the possibility of incorporating private best practices into our healthcare delivery?

With a budget in excess of $54 billion, which is roughly 40% of the government’s total annual spending, we should at least have the openness to intelligently discuss the various options that exist for our healthcare network to meet our expectations and needs .

Of course, I’m the first advocate of a universal public health network for all Quebecers, but in the face of that network’s multiple failures, we simply can no longer believe in the wonders of yet another reorganization, in the mirages of a new winning strategy, or in the fine words of those who “the solution to have”.

Health, like education and the environment, should not become victims of political ideals. On the contrary, we should depoliticize these issues to ensure that we offer the best possible services/options to the citizens – you know the ones who fund the network thanks to the taxes they pay to the state.

I hope that after almost three years of a pandemic, challenges of helplessness and in the middle of the election campaign, we will dare to address the topic in the coming weeks without falling into prejudice, clichés and petty politics. Quebecers deserve far better than an ideological witch hunt.

Darren Pena

Avid beer trailblazer. Friendly student. Tv geek. Coffee junkie. Total writer. Hipster-friendly internet practitioner. Pop culture fanatic.

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