I have begun to believe my mind is full of tiny little topics that act like pimples.

No one can predict the order they start to fester in, or when they’ll get ripe and burst.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The CMA’s Hypocrisy and Lies are Contagious

The Two Faces of Medicare Fans

Stupidity re Private Clinics and Its Costs

I think it’s quite apparent I don’t much like what the Medical Profession has become over time. Its foundation has eroded and crumbled. It has toppled from being respected as a Compassionate Fellowship of the Good Samaritan to one of contempt and suspicion as the Avaricious Fellowship of Medical Charlatans.

I have been ranting about its loss of character because of its confusion and loss of direction regarding Cannabis and the Medical Marijuana conundrum. Today while cruising and looking for ammunition I ran across the “Canadian Doctors for Medicare” group at

I poked my nose in to find out what these Doctors thought about the whole can of worms. I ran down the whole line of posts all the way back to Health Canada’s announcement of the MMAR revision, looking for Cannabis and Marijuana. It is a long list. There one post lonely post with no comment and no likes. It related to both Medical Marijuana and to the announcement of a Doctor in hot water who could use some support. It was my post A Rotten Conspiracy: How They Set up Dr. Rob Kamermans. Nobody noticed it was there.

I noted through the list there was a concentration on two main areas that concerned only Physician related Interests: Organizational gossip and Management and Financial Compensation Matters. Not one goddamned post in the whole frigging site had any reference to Patients or their treatment. This is coming from a collection of doctors who in another Canadian Doctors for Medicare related site proudly link you to Wickipedia to describe just who they are and what they stand for:

“A physician is a professional who practices medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Both the role of the physician and the meaning of the word itself vary around the world, including a wide variety of qualifications and degrees, but there are some common elements. For example, the ethics of medicine require that physicians show consideration, compassion and benevolence for their patients”

That whole ethics bit is being totally ignored by the majority of opinions expressed against Private Surgical facilities: i.e. Two Tier Medicine. These opinions are absolute horseshit. They are all from the Physicians perspective. They cite the rights of patients to equal treatment; they claim private surgery and facilities cause wait lists to be lengthened: it’s all hooey because Two Tier Medicine is an old and active business. It is the patient’s right to choose between pain and money and pain wins every time.. The rich have always had it and the poor never will. Private medicine as it is coming into effect here is only bringing the service to a lower income class of client.

The objections of the opponents of Privatization are probably best represented by those of the

Canadian Health Coalition

The Canadian Health Coalition is a public advocacy organization dedicated to the preservation and improvement of Medicare. Our membership is comprised of national organizations representing nurses, health care workers, seniors, churches, anti-poverty groups, women, students and trade unions, as well as affiliated coalitions in 9 provinces and one territory.
In their opening statement they cast proponents as liars
People who own private for-profit clinics often make the case that by letting the wealthy pay for private services; it will take the pressure of the public system and reduce wait times for the rest of us. In fact, the evidence shows this is not true.

The Canadian Health Coalition’s 5 Primary Objections.

5 Distortions of truth- each qualifying as Bullshit, there is no other way to describe it. I will deal with them following
1.    For-profit clinics take doctors and nurses out of the public system A for-profit private clinic takes doctors and nurses out of the public system.
2.    “Cream-skimming” in for-profit care chooses easy-to- treat patients – this practice leaves the higher risk, higher cost patients to the public system
3.    For-profit care isn’t as safe – Research shows that for-profit facilities are not as good for your health. One study estimated that if all Canadian hospitals were converted to for-profit, there would 2,200 additional deaths every year.
4.    For-profit care costs more – costs in a parallel system are higher than in the public system. For example, knee replacement surgery in a public hospital costs $8,000; in a private facility, between $14,000 and $18,000. .
5.    Health care should be based on need, not on ability to pay – it’s one of the strongest beliefs of most Canadians.
This is simply not true. The option of having quicker service for pain relief in exchange for money is invaluable if you can get the funds together. Beg it, borrow it, or steal it:: when you get it, suddenly there is hope of a miracle. I know what that miracle can do: I’ve been there and done that.

My wife hurt her back and has not been able to work since 1993. I had an accident in 1999, buggered my back, and lost my physical ability to practice my trade. I lost WCB in 2001 and wound up penniless, no assets, no income, no prospects, a disabled wife and a Visa Card that saved us. After 2 months desperation, I finally found employment as a Security Guard at minimum wage and that allowed survival until CPP at 60.

In 2007 my wife was in constant pain and almost unable to walk. She needed surgery and we had been referred to a neurosurgeon and had a three month wait to see him. Beyond that was an indefinite wait of at least 6 months for OR time. My wife’s Physiotherapist at one time mentioned a private clinic but it was way too expensive. Then the miracle happened. The WCAT upheld my appeal and ordered the WCB to pay me just over $100,000 less WCB costs and that changed our life. The day I got the cheque I called the clinic and they advised they could help. They needed an MRI to quote. We bought one the next day at another private clinic devoted to digital diagnostics for $750 and two days later were advised the fee was $5000 and surgery within two weeks.

My wife went under the knife at 10AM and woke up several hours’ later pain free. She stayed overnight and in the morning she got out of bed, dressed, and walked out to the car: Pain free. She has a two inch scar where her surgeon went in and basically rebuilt two vertebra and discs.
I’d like to point out that her surgery was done by the same neurosurgeon; she would have waited for nine months to see through the public system. His services were not inflated and charged to us, He billed and was paid his normal surgical fee by the Public system MSP here in BC, same fee billed to MSP.as he would have been for a hospital operation.

We did not pay for the services of a doctor, we paid $5000 rental for an Operating Room and support staff. We did not have to apply and wait for access to a theatre in competition with others on a wait list. He put his skill to use in time that was not available in the public system. His services were going to waste and in an act of consideration, compassion and benevolence he found a way to remove an obstacle that was preventing him from using them to relieve pain.

I’m going to conclude this without commenting on the asinine assessment of brand new facilities as unsafe or on the Cream-skimming slur at doctors but I will comment on their final objection:
Health care should be based on need, not on ability to pay.

I totally agree with that but need is not considered in Public wait times unless the patient has a life threatening collapse. Unfortunately, consideration of Pain is not a factor in a Medical wait list. If noticed at all it calls for a scribbled Rx for Oxycontin or some other pharmacological toxin to tide the patient over until surgery or whatever. Therein lays the major flaw in our modern medical delivery system.

I wonder what these highly principled disciples of equality would do in same position as my wife had been.  You are in the wait list and its 9 months long: Pain rules your life morning, noon, and night. You know there is help available but its way too bloody expensive. It’s hopeless. You look at your future and wish you were dead but there’s a wait list for that too. Then the Pain Fairy arrives with a 6/49 win of $100,000. You need neurosurgery and that’s expensive but you wonder:  How expensive? You call for a quote and you can get surgery for $5000 within two weeks.

In that instance your whole future changes. Self interest overrules Principle and suddenly there is a way out of being equal and odds are you’ll go for it. In our case, 5 grand was a bargain. We would have paid 5 times that without a second thought.

Pain is not part of equality. It has no priority in the Waiting List but it should.

More later.
Blaine