Wednesday, 15 January 2014

No to Charging for Private Rooms at Montreal's Super Hospitals

Update:  Looks like this was beaten back, at least in part, by general outcry!  Sometimes making a fuss does get something done, and underscores the need for constant vigilance.

Original post:

The idea of superhospitals was ill-considered, in my opinion. Not enough thought was given to what closing down major medical establishments in the centre of the city would do to the city's fabric, nor to the repercussions of putting most of the high tech interventions in one place.

 What about the danger of cross-infections? a few people asked.  The response was: well, we'll have a lot of private rooms to cut down them.

Now it seems that the two hospitals (one affliated with McGill, the other with the Université de Montréal) want to charge for these private rooms.  Currently, all hospitals here have a mix of private, semi-private and multiple patient rooms, and unless you request a private or semi-private room and agree to pay a premium you get whatever happens to be available.

But to ask everyone to pay for private rooms is a breach in the social contract that lies behind our health system.  The ministry spokespeople say there would be a sliding scale based on patient income, but that just underscores the two tier aspect of this new idea.  Besides, anyone who has ever looked at administrative costs knows that doing the paper work for sliding scales is going to eat up a lot of any "profit" that would be gained by charging the fees.

1 comment:

Martin Langeland said...

This is off topic, so no need to post.
Did you note the Telegraph feature about a 16th cent. Portuegese MS featuring a kangaroo illustration?