Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Physician Disempowerment in Canada

Brian Lee Crowley, a senior fellow at the Galen Institute, gave the following speech about physician disempowerment in Canada at the recent Center for Medicine in the Public Interest conference on October 14, 2008.

Here are a few of his speaking points:
1) Potential physicians are severely restricted in their ability to choose their profession
2) Physicians are increasingly restricted in whom they can see
3) Physicians are increasingly restricted in what they can prescribe
4) Physicians are increasingly restricted in getting their patients access to the latest technology
5) Physicians have totally lost the power to determine what they will charge
6) Physicians are gaining some slight ability to practice in both the public and the private sectors after having lost that right for years.
7) Physicians have great difficulty getting their patients treated in a timely manner
Point 6 is the one slender silver lining in the otherwise bad news.

The others are the inevitable consequences of any system of "universal health care".

When the government attempts to guarantee a good or service such as health care as a universal "right", it must necessarily control the creation and distribution of that service. This removes the control from the physicians who create the service and the patients who purchase it. Instead, the government determine who gets what care and when. In the end, rather than being a "right", health care becomes a de facto privilege dispensed at the discretion of bureaucrats.