Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Future Of US Medicine?

Thousands of surgeries may be cut in Metro Vancouver due to government underfunding, leaked paper

VANCOUVER — Vancouver patients needing neurosurgery, treatment for vascular diseases and other medically necessary procedures can expect to wait longer for care, NDP health critic Adrian Dix said Monday.

Dix said a Vancouver Coastal Health Authority document shows it is considering chopping more than 6,000 surgeries in an effort to make up for a dramatic budgetary shortfall that could reach $200 million.

“This hasn’t been announced by the health authority … but these cuts are coming,” Dix said, citing figures gleaned from a leaked executive summary of “proposed VCH surgical reductions.”

The health authority confirmed the document is genuine, but said it represents ideas only.

“It is a planning document. It has not been approved or implemented,” said spokeswoman Anna Marie D’Angelo.

Dr. Brian Brodie, president of the BC Medical Association, called the proposed surgical cuts “a nightmare.”

“Why would you begin your cost-cutting measures on medically necessary surgery? I just can’t think of a worse place,” Brodie said.

According to the leaked document, Vancouver Coastal — which oversees the budget for Vancouver General and St. Paul’s hospitals, among other health-care facilities — is looking to close nearly a quarter of its operating rooms starting in September and to cut 6,250 surgeries, including 24 per cent of cases scheduled from September to March and 10 per cent of all medically necessary elective procedures this fiscal year.

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

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Is this the future of US medicine under Obamacare? What are your thoughts?


Z said...

I'm thinking it's going to be a lot more expensive for Canadians to fly to France for better healthcare than driving in to America. tsk tsk tsk

Larry Durham said...

I think your post is a snapshot of the future in American health care...but at least it will be crappy for everybody. You know how Barry likes to "spread" things around...especially misery.

LASunsett said...

But Chuck, that can't possibly happen here. We are different. Never mind that every last socialist nation has failed, never mind that every socialist medical system is failing or deeply in debt. We are Americans, we know how to do it better.

(Now if you will excuse me, I have to go vomit.)

shoprat said...

And that's the model for us.

Chuck said...

Z, I guess if they want surgery...

Larry, the Dims are all about equality

LA, right, Obama is a new kind of socialist

Shoprat, right

DaBlade said...

Sounds like a utopic one-payer system on full display. Have the considered cost savings by replacing these surgeries with the application of inexpensive leeches? Let the bloodletting begin!

Gramma 2 Many said...

Hey all of my blogger friends, I am sending out an SOS. I have picked up a blogger whose only intent is to argue and belittle our country. I am hoping some of you would be willing to visit my blog, http://yestheyareallmine-mom.blogspot.com and help me counter her ignorance. My rational mind tells me to just delete her, but my fighting spirit tells me to put her right where she belongs, back in the rat hole she crawled out from.

If you are interested in helping me, she is commenting on my Sunday August 16 post highlighting the hike our family took.

Thanks in advance.

Lib Basher said...

Thanks for the good work, don't ever let up

Always On Watch said...

Waiting for neurosurgery can be a death sentence. In this household, Mr. AOW had his neurosurgery just in the nick of time -- and that was on an expedited path.

Waiting for surgery in ophthalmology can result in loss of sight -- total or partial.

Yes, ObamaCare will put us on the path of the same crappy health care that Canada has.

cube said...

It is our future if we don't find a way to stop Obamacare.

LomaAlta said...

Our bankrupting socialized medicine will be much worse than Canada's. We are already trillions of dollars in the hole because of stimulus, cap and trade, increasing taxes in a recession, and 1-2 trillion dollar annual deficits BEFORE adding socialized medicine.

Socialized medicine in America will spin out of control faster and rationing will be sooner and deeper. Unfortunately, once a federal give-away program is started it never ends. Never. So if we get Obamacare it is not the sunset of America, its over the cliff.

Chuck said...

DaBlade, maybe we can follow Dr Obama's plan and have them just take a pain pill

Gramma, I'll stop by. I had some idiot come by and attack me on my visit to the Flight 93 memorial

Lib Basher, first, cool name. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comment

AOW, there are few surgeries that can wait or be cancelled all together

Cube, we may stop him yet

LomaAlta, dead on, we don't have the money to lose

MK said...

"Why would you begin your cost-cutting measures on medically necessary surgery?"

Because eventually you'll run out of other people's money and you'll just have to cut something.

"Is this the future of US medicine under Obamacare?"

Off course it is, it's the only logical outcome, otherwise it would be like jumping off a cliff and expecting not to fall.

Chuck said...

Good point on cost cutting MK. Something will have to give.