This is Gordon Atherley's response to What are you skating towards in 2012?

 Shifting the Mindset of Canada’s Healthcare System

Gordon_Atherley_profile_16851027861The shift is needed, urgently, because of increasing dominance in Canada by diseases that are incurable. Healthcare needs to acknowledge that, for incurable diseases, the healthcare provided by the healthcare system may be necessary but is invariably insufficient. It needs to recognize that family caregivers, a key sufficiency factor, are currently subsidizing the healthcare system by some $25 Billion. It needs to respect the point that, while the healthcare system is pampering itself with costly bureaucracy-serving programs like Pan-Canadian electronic health records, it is devouring more and more of provincial budgets, which can only mean that, in the name of efficiency or some such rationale, the exploitation of family caregivers will grow apace through aging-at-home and other burden-displacing programs.

The healthcare system needs to respond ethically and not resist the transfer of funds out of the healthcare system and into direct-pay for family caregivers who, increasingly, are exhausting themselves physically, psychologically and financially. It needs to see the transfer of funding out of healthcare as a matter of social justice and responsible, sound fiscal management that is essential even at the best of economic times.

Dr Gordon Atherley, is a retired physician with a history of social-justice-oriented activism. He is host of FamilyCaregivers Unite! VoiceAmerica’s internet radio talk show.

Note: I am releasing individual essays from the collection, What are you skating towards in 2012?  on a regular basis. Upcoming contributions are by Jacques Dufresne, Linda Perry, Richard Bridge, Kirsteen Main, Ted Kuntz  and many others. You can access the accumulated essays here.

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