The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Canada’s New Solution to Long Waiting Lists for Medical Care – Make Patients Draw Straws to Get a Doctor

Posted by iusbvision on August 18, 2008

When I took Dr. Zechowski’s class on film documentaries we watched Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko” and he claimed that Canada does not have a problem with waiting lists for health care.

MD uses lottery to cull patients

Not first such case as lack of doctors causes huge caseloads

Tom Blackwell, National Post Published: Wednesday, August 06, 2008

In the latest jarring illustration of the country’s doctor shortage, a family physician in Northern Ontario has used a lottery to determine which patients would be ejected from his overloaded practice.

Dr. Ken Runciman says he reluctantly eliminated about 100 patients in two separate draws to avoid having to provide assembly-line service or extend already onerous work hours, and admits the move has divided the community of Powassan.

Yet it was not the first time such methods have been employed to determine medical service. A new family practice in Newfoundland held a lottery last month to pick its caseload from among thousands of applicants. An Edmonton doctor selected names randomly earlier this year to pare 500 people from his heavy caseload. And in Ontario, regulators have heard reports of a number of other physicians also using draws to choose, or remove, patients.

The unusual practice seems to be a symptom of the times, said Jill Hefley, spokeswoman for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. A paucity of medical professionals has left an estimated five million Canadians without a family doctor.

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=702588

Pierre Lemieux has an analysis of this situation here – http://libertyincanada.com/blog/index.php?blog=2&p=575&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

Hat Tip to Dr. John Lott for the heads up on this article.

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