Cutting Costs by Cutting Care

The government of British Columbia is looking at a not-so-innovative way to cut their medical costs: they may cut 6,250 “medicallly necessary elective surgeries” in the province.

The plan proposes cutbacks to neurosurgery, ophthalmology, vascular surgery, and 11 other specialized areas.

Further reductions in surgeries are scheduled during the Olympics, when the health authority plans to close approximately a third of its operating rooms.

Two weeks ago, Mr. Dix released a Fraser Health Authority draft communications plan listing proposed clinical care cuts, including a 10% cut in elective surgeries.

So while these procedures are needed, they may simply become unavailable, even for patients already waiting for them.

It’s easy to see, with proposals like this on the table, how Canada manages to spend less on health care than the US while continuing to provide universal coverage. Too bad that coverage can’t get Canadians the care they need.

h/t: Brett Skinner.

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