Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Good News # 3: Quebeckers Are Concerned about the Health System

Le Devoir carried the results of a poll conducted by Senergis yesterday which showed that health has taken a jump in the concerns of Quebecois. Fifty-two per cent put health at the top of their priorities compared to 29 per cent in 2009.

It isn't clear from the story exactly what aspects of health and the health system the 1000 persons who answered the questions had in mind, and even less clear how they'd like to see the problems solved. But what is clear that this very important aspect of our social arrangements may finally get the attention it deserves. What remains to be seen is whether good solutions are proposed by citizens' groups and the government.

And this, of course, where the good news may turn to bad news. It is quite clear that many of the players think that a two tier system, with much less public involvement in the payment of health services, is the way to go. Provincial Finance Minister Raymond Bachand has promised to propose user fees again, even though evidence strongly shows that they cost more in the long run and without doubt create inequities. The trick this year will be to channel the public's concern into real reforms, including beating back the idea that private involvement is efficient and cheaper.

No comments: