In black and white

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is in Toronto today, where he’ll keep stressing health care, which he calls the sleeper issue of the campaign for the May 2 election.  …

The Liberal pledged to ease the demands on the health-care system with the home care proposal, a national food strategy and negotiations with the provinces on a national prescription drug plan.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is accusing his Conservative rivals of trying to conceal a $11-bilion “hole” in their campaign platform that he suggests a future Tory government would fill by cutting federal health-care spending.


Canadians need to have a discussion about rapidly rising health-care costs, and soon, said David Dodge, former head of the Bank of Canada. Just not now.

Invoking Kim Campbell’s famous declaration, that “an election is no time to discuss serious issues,” Mr. Dodge said the current federal campaign is not likely to include such a fractious, politically sensitive debate.

“The difficult national issues are very hard to handle in an election campaign,” Mr. Dodge said in an interview with the Financial Post.

According to a new C.D. Howe Institute report co-authored by Mr. Dodge, healthcare spending is becoming a “disease” in Canada, with an ever-increasing share of income needed to cover the costs.

However, before any debate about the looming funding crunch, which is driven by the expansion of available medical services through technology, as well as the aging of the Canadian population, Canadians need to educated on the issue, Mr. Dodge said….

“There hasn’t been a preparation, a public preparation, to begin to make those choices.”

LATER  : Related



2 responses to “In black and white

  1. Fortuitous timing. I’ve just returned from Denver CO where I payed for an innovative autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) treatment. This regenerative medicine is considerably less expensive (and infinitely less intrusive) than the usual “treatment”, ie painkillers and major surgery…

    MSC are your body’s repair cells that naturally fix minor injury (and build muscle/bone strength when you exercise). MSC are naturally present in high numbers when you are young but their numbers decline as you get older. The idea is simple: take your own MSC from your bone marrow, concentrate them, re-inject them onto the site that needs repair (along with growth factors from your own blood).

    This type of regenerative treatment is more cost-effective if the MSC are culture-expanded in the laboratory — using growth factors from your own blood to boost the number. The FDA has, in a fit of bureaucratic stupidity, classified autologous MSC as becoming a drug when they are cultured. This essentially shuts down the most cost-effective treatment modality.

    Reading the on-line Health Canada guff, it seems that they are even worse than the FDA! If this were otherwise, I’d be investing in a private clinic here in Canada to treat our deprived friends south of the border… for a small fee…

    My point is this, if bureaucrats (and politicians) were sensible then we’d have better and less expensive treatment options, at least for some health problems!

    In Canada we treat health care as a negative-sum welfare program, where only the bureaucrats, Big Pharma, and other control-freaks win. We’d do better to see it as a business opportunity from which all can profit.

    Socialism, you’ve gotta love it, eh?

  2. Welcome back, Brian! Hoping to hear your reaction on the election idiocy evident everywhere at present. The useful idiots are in full panic mode. Does that treatment do anything about brain mushiness that must happen to our supposedly educated youth and our aging women?