OHIP is a failure

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The health care system in Ontario, at least for the Greater Toronto Area is a failure. Although everyone has access to it in theory, many people do not have access to good doctors and proper treatment. There is a serious lack of good doctors in the GTA. This is not because Toronto does not produce good doctors. In fact, the city produces many.

The problem is that most good doctors in Toronto quickly see that their high quality services are in demand in the United States, where they earn more money than they could in Canada. You cannot fault them for moving there because it’s a good opportunity for them. The few really good doctors that stay in Toronto very quickly have too many patients and can no longer accept new ones.

This results in many people having to settle with mediocre doctors that give suspect diagnoses, treatments and service. It also results in many people having no family doctor at all. So how do we fix the problem? Completely reform OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). Doctors need better incentives to stay in Toronto. This likely means higher pay. They should also be given financial incentives for correctly diagnosing and treating patients’ illnesses and ailments. Additional incentives should be given to doctors that reduce obese patients’ weight. Doctors are so used to seeing grossly obese patients that when they see marginally obese ones they don’t see it as such a big problem, even though it is.

The final part of reforming OHIP is having more private clinics and health care for those that want it and can afford to pay a little more. It shouldn’t replace any OHIP services, just be in addition to it. This will free up space for other people that don’t have a doctor and it will encourage OHIP to perform at a higher level than it is currently. There are many things that can be done so that the private services are not too expensive so that only the rich will benefit. The money for this would come from lower overall health care costs which are a result of the incentives I mentioned.

This seems like a smart approach to improving health care in the GTA and Ontario. Regardless of the approach however, something needs to happen because OHIP is broken and the people are suffering as a result.