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View Full Version : Int'l Issues Thousands of surgeries may be cut in Metro Vancouver due to government underfunding


Donger
08-18-2009, 04:53 PM
http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=1878506&sponsor

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.

As many of 112 full-time jobs — including 13 anesthesiologist positions — would be affected by the reductions, the document says.

“Clearly this will impact the capacity of the health-care system to provide care, not just now but in the future,” Dix said.

Further reductions in surgeries are scheduled during the Olympics, when the health authority plans to close approximately a third of its operating rooms.

Two weeks ago, Dix released a Fraser Health Authority draft communications plan listing proposed clinical care cuts, including a 10-per-cent cut in elective surgeries and longer waits for MRI scans.

The move comes after the province acknowledged all health authorities together will be forced to cut staff, limit some services and increase fees to find $360 million in savings during the current fiscal year.

In all, Fraser Health is looking at a $160-million funding shortfall.

D’Angelo said Vancouver Coastal’s deficit is closer to $90 million — almost a third of which ($23 million) has already been absorbed through reductions in non-clinical administration efficiencies.

Vancouver Coastal performed 67,000 surgeries last year, an increase of 6,500 surgeries over 2007.

“What has now happened is that now our wait times are about 25 per cent lower than the provincial average,” D’Angelo said. “We have put a dent in that wait list.”

Brodie acknowledged surgical waiting times have dropped significantly in recent years, particularly for patients needing hip and joint replacements.

He said the proposed cuts threaten those advancements.

“It sounds like we are going backwards here,” he said.

Total health spending in British Columbia was $15.7 billion this year, up about four per cent over last year’s total of 15.1 billion, according to figures provided by the ministry of health.

Health Minister Kevin Falcon was unavailable for comment Monday on the proposed health-care cuts. A ministry spokesman said Falcon is away on his honeymoon until the end of August.

Elsewhere in British Columbia, the province will look to replace the head of the Interior Health Authority, Murray Ramsden, after he announced he will step down at the end of the year.

Ramsden has said his decision to retire is not related to financial problems faced by the authority.

patteeu
08-19-2009, 08:55 AM
I'm sure they'll only be cutting the unnecessary surgeries like the tonsillectomies and amputations that doctors perform just because they're greedy.

Chief Henry
08-19-2009, 09:27 AM
Some sort of {Canadian National Health Care Board} has to make these decisions
on who will receive the surgeries and who won't.

Isn't that precious ? I wonder who willmake up that board or panel here in the good ol USA when that time comes ?

Simplex3
08-19-2009, 09:34 AM
Isn't that precious ? I wonder who willmake up that board or panel here in the good ol USA when that time comes ?

You'd better hope it's your party that is in power when you need that surgery.

memyselfI
08-19-2009, 09:50 AM
All I know is that I have some follow up surgery I've been putting off for years because I am afraid since the last time they almost killed me. But the way Lite is handling the issue is motivating me to get the damn thing done while I still have insurance that will cover it. No telling what insurance will look like or cover when he's done screwing up the issue.

Chief Henry
08-19-2009, 11:28 AM
This doesn't concern any of you planet libs in the least ?

mlyonsd
08-19-2009, 12:15 PM
All I know is that I have some follow up surgery I've been putting off for years because I am afraid since the last time they almost killed me. But the way Lite is handling the issue is motivating me to get the damn thing done while I still have insurance that will cover it. No telling what insurance will look like or cover when he's done screwing up the issue.

Reverse labotomy?

The way you turned on the dems I knew there was something wrong with you.

memyselfI
08-19-2009, 12:21 PM
Reverse labotomy?

The way you turned on the dems I knew there was something wrong with you.

No, I turned on the DEMS because THEY turned out to be a joke just like their leader...spineless weasels.

mlyonsd
08-19-2009, 12:27 PM
No, I turned on the DEMS because THEY turned out to be a joke just like their leader...spineless weasels.

j/k of course. I miss the old days when I used to call you a DA.

wild1
08-19-2009, 12:37 PM
I heard an anecdote just the other day, about a lack of beds in a lot of places there.

HonestChieffan
08-19-2009, 12:55 PM
But thats in Canada. So it doesn't really happen.

Chief Henry
08-20-2009, 05:32 PM
Crickets from the left on this information.

orange
08-20-2009, 05:59 PM
Crickets from the left on this information.

Controlling health spending need not lead to catastrophe


Vancouver Sun

August 14, 2009

Catastrophizing, online psychologist John M. Grohol once explained, is an irrational thought a lot of us have in believing that something is far worse than it actually is. A more cynical definition might be that it is making others believe something is far worse than it is.

Take health care, for example. If a health authority, say Vancouver Coastal Health, wanted to put pressure on the provincial government for more funding, it might catastrophize the impact of a potential budgetary shortfall. It could set out the worse case scenario of being $200 million in the red, closing a quarter of its operating rooms, cancelling thousands of medically necessary surgeries and eliminating more than a hundred jobs. Then it could "leak" the information to a trusted source -- perhaps someone equally anxious to embarrass the government, maybe NDP health critic Adrian Dix, who would deliver it to the media. You can imagine the headline: "Thousands of surgeries may be cut, leaked paper reveals."

The account above is meant only to illustrate the manipulative use of catastrophizing and any resemblance to real events is coincidental.

But there is, in fact, a real catastrophe in the making: the Liberal government's budget. The recession has severely slashed government revenue because individuals and businesses are making less money and paying less personal and corporate income tax. In fiscal 2008-09, government revenue slid $1.5 billion from a year earlier, led by a personal-income-tax drop of $863 million, an investment-income decline of $336 million, and a corporate-tax drop of $212 million.

At the same time, spending on health care rose by $885 million, on education by $491 million, and on social-services by $200 million, for a spending increase in just these three ministries that exceeded the decline in revenue.

Most economic forecasters now expect B.C.'s budget deficit will reach $2 billion or more, making a mockery of the $495-million "maximum" Premier Gordon Campbell and Finance Minister Colin Hansen vowed a few months ago. While deficits have been held up as beneficial, and even necessary, to bring an end to the recession and hasten economic recovery, they are not benign. A deficit represents future taxation and, given the squawking over the few extra dollars some consumers will have to pay as a result of the introduction of a harmonized sales tax, governments should be loathe to foist an additional tax increase on voters.

Health care spending accounts for 42 per cent of total government spending in B.C. and Victoria must keep it under control, ideally using the guideline of the rates of inflation and population growth, to prevent it from consuming an even greater share of our tax dollars.

It is not true that Victoria has cut spending on health care -- in fact, it's up 5.8 per cent. However, Health Minister Kevin Falcon has asked health authorities to find $360 million in savings.

Rather than engage in a serious, rational cost-cutting exercise that would leave necessary services alone, they have resorted to agitprop.

Ever-expanding budgets alone have not led and will not lead to better health care. Innovations in the delivery of health services is necessary. That's where the Liberal government should direct its attention if it wants to stop the endless escalation of health care costs.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Controlling+health+spending+need+lead+catastrophe/1892069/story.html

To be fair, I don't know if The Vancouver Sun's editorial board is actually "the left."

orange
08-20-2009, 06:01 PM
And of course, there's new information on what was ACTUALLY cut:

Fraser Health Authority confirms cutbacks to surgeries, services

By David Karp, Vancouver Sun
August 14, 2009

The Fraser Health Authority confirmed Thursday it intends to cut surgeries, seniors' programs and services for the mentally ill to help deal with a budget shortfall of up to $160 million.

However, it said the emergency department at Mission Memorial Hospital will stay open.

Confirmation of the cuts, expected for some time, came as the authority's board of directors met in Mission Thursday. The board said 10 to 15 per cent of elective surgeries will be cut in the latter part of the 2009-10 fiscal year, with slowdowns already scheduled for the Olympic period.

MRIs will be limited to the same number done last year, and programs for seniors, the mentally ill and people suffering domestic violence will be cut.

On July 27, NDP health critic Adrian Dix leaked a planning document outlining a 10-per-cent reduction in elective surgeries at Fraser Health. Earlier this month, Denyse Houde, director of mental health and addictions at Fraser Health, said the authority was cutting mental health and addictions funding, as well as a domestic violence program.

The measures announced Thursday mean Fraser Health will save $400,000 by centralizing after-hours mental health support and $500,000 by ending 11 contracts for mental health and addictions programs.

A contract to help provide a social worker for domestic violence victims in New Westminster will also end, saving $44,000 a year. The authority will reduce capacity at residential care facilities, save $550,000 by ending 12 contracts for seniors' services, close two daycare programs for seniors and reduce services at six others.

Chilliwack senior Charlotte Blair attends the Chilliwack and District Senior Resources Society's Time Out program, which is slated for cuts. It organizes activities for seniors who live alone.

"I was crying. I was so mad," said Blair, who went to the meeting. "I said, 'Don't cut Time Out. Leave it open.' I said it about 10 times to them.

"They said sorry so many times, but they don't mean that at all," she said. "Sorry is not good enough."

Fraser Health says it faces a $130-million to $160-million shortfall in 2009-10 despite a $96-million increase in base funding from the provincial government this year.

dkarp@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Fraser+Health+Authority+confirms+cutbacks+surgeries+services/1892143/story.html

orange
08-20-2009, 06:02 PM
Of course, none of this has anything to do with any of the Health Care proposals on the table for THIS country.

It's just another bloody shirt for rightwingers to wave.


This doesn't concern any of you planet libs in the least ?

Oh, and I believe this is a REPOST, too. I remember posting a response, but I won't bother bumping up the original failed thread. HonestChieffan or whoever posted it can do that if they want.

Chief Henry
08-20-2009, 06:05 PM
[QUOTE=orange;5988376][INDENT][INDENT]Controlling health spending need not lead to catastrophe


Vancouver Sun

August 14, 2009

Catastrophizing, online psychologist John M. Grohol once explained, is an irrational thought a lot of us have in believing that something is far worse than it actually is. A more cynical definition might be that it is making others believe something is far worse than it is.

Take health care, for example. If a health authority, say Vancouver Coastal Health, wanted to put pressure on the provincial government for more funding, it might catastrophize the impact of a potential budgetary shortfall. It could set out the worse case scenario of being $200 million in the red, closing a quarter of its operating rooms, cancelling thousands of medically necessary surgeries and eliminating more than a hundred jobs. Then it could "leak" the information to a trusted source -- perhaps someone equally anxious to embarrass the government, maybe NDP health critic Adrian Dix, who would deliver it to the media. You can imagine the headline: "Thousands of surgeries may be cut, leaked paper reveals."

The account above is meant only to illustrate the manipulative use of catastrophizing and any resemblance to real events is coincidental.

But there is, in fact, a real catastrophe in the making: the Liberal government's budget. The recession has severely slashed government revenue because individuals and businesses are making less money and paying less personal and corporate income tax. In fiscal 2008-09, government revenue slid $1.5 billion from a year earlier, led by a personal-income-tax drop of $863 million, an investment-income decline of $336 million, and a corporate-tax drop of $212 million.

At the same time, spending on health care rose by $885 million, on education by $491 million, and on social-services by $200 million, for a spending increase in just these three ministries that exceeded the decline in revenue.

Most economic forecasters now expect B.C.'s budget deficit will reach $2 billion or more, making a mockery of the $495-million "maximum" Premier Gordon Campbell and Finance Minister Colin Hansen vowed a few months ago. While deficits have been held up as beneficial, and even necessary, to bring an end to the recession and hasten economic recovery, they are not benign. A deficit represents future taxation and, given the squawking over the few extra dollars some consumers will have to pay as a result of the introduction of a harmonized sales tax, governments should be loathe to foist an additional tax increase on voters.

Health care spending accounts for 42 per cent of total government spending in B.C. and Victoria must keep it under control, ideally using the guideline of the rates of inflation and population growth, to prevent it from consuming an even greater share of our tax dollars.

It is not true that Victoria has cut spending on health care -- in fact, it's up 5.8 per cent. However, Health Minister Kevin Falcon has asked health authorities to find $360 million in savings.
Rather than engage in a serious, rational cost-cutting exercise that would leave necessary services alone, they have resorted to agitprop.

Ever-expanding budgets alone have not led and will not lead to better health care. Innovations in the delivery of health services is necessary. That's where the Liberal government should direct its attention if it wants to stop the endless escalation of health care costs.



Health care accounts for 42 % and its still not enough.

Many people will be going w/o surgeries and some health board or health czar
figure will be the oger that says no to a large group of people waiting for surgery.

banyon
08-20-2009, 06:07 PM
“What has now happened is that now our wait times are about 25 per cent lower than the provincial average,” D’Angelo said. “We have put a dent in that wait list.”

So they were better and now it will be closer to the average?

The horror.

Chief Henry
08-20-2009, 06:10 PM
[QUOTE=orange;5988385]Of course, none of this has anything to do with any of the Health Care proposals on the table for THIS country.


QUOTE



Head - Sand

orange
08-20-2009, 06:14 PM
“What has now happened is that now our wait times are about 25 per cent lower than the provincial average,” D’Angelo said. “We have put a dent in that wait list.”

So they were better and now it will be closer to the average?

The horror.

And they did that while performing over 10% more surgeries than the prior year.

Vancouver Coastal performed 67,000 surgeries last year, an increase of 6,500 surgeries over 2007.

HolyHandgernade
08-20-2009, 06:17 PM
This doesn't concern any of you planet libs in the least ?

Of course it is a concern, but this is working on the assumption that the U.S. plan will be exactly like the Canadian plan. There are concerns for anything new. But inaction is not the answer. If your wall is falling down, the alternative shouldn't be between a new product for building a wall or just let the current one continue to fall.

I don't operate under the assumption any plan for any purpose is fool-proof. That doesn't mean we can't design something that is better than the current system. I'm only left to assume that the Republican response to Health Care is "more of the same" because they don't seem to be offering any ideas how to improve it.

-HH

Taco John
08-20-2009, 06:56 PM
Of course it is a concern, but this is working on the assumption that the U.S. plan will be exactly like the Canadian plan. There are concerns for anything new. But inaction is not the answer. If your wall is falling down, the alternative shouldn't be between a new product for building a wall or just let the current one continue to fall.

I don't operate under the assumption any plan for any purpose is fool-proof. That doesn't mean we can't design something that is better than the current system. I'm only left to assume that the Republican response to Health Care is "more of the same" because they don't seem to be offering any ideas how to improve it.

-HH



The current system is screwed up because of excessive government and the beauracracy and middle men that are choking the system (rather than enhancing it). Cut out the waste and the system will heal itself.

You used the metaphor "if the wall is falling down." A better metaphor would be a patient who is sick from drinking sour milk. The best way to health for her is to stop drinking the sour milk, not reorganize medicine around her symptoms in attempt to cure the way her stomach receives the milk.

mikey23545
08-20-2009, 07:04 PM
How embarrassing for you libs...

And still, no matter what concerns are being raised, you race to plug Obama's cock into your mouth and begin spinning and deflecting....

banyon
08-20-2009, 07:53 PM
How embarrassing for you libs...

And still, no matter what concerns are being raised, you race to plug Obama's cock into your mouth and begin spinning and deflecting....

Sorry we actually bothered to read the article, I know how you prefer not to know things that aren't convenient for your preconceptions.

HolyHandgernade
08-20-2009, 08:17 PM
The current system is screwed up because of excessive government and the beauracracy and middle men that are choking the system (rather than enhancing it). Cut out the waste and the system will heal itself.

You used the metaphor "if the wall is falling down." A better metaphor would be a patient who is sick from drinking sour milk. The best way to health for her is to stop drinking the sour milk, not reorganize medicine around her symptoms in attempt to cure the way her stomach receives the milk.

Excellent, so are we to wear sugical masks all the time or giant condoms to prevent the spread of disease as well? Are we to outlaw physical activity and entertainment that runs a higher risk of injury? Part of the problem with the current system is that it isn't designed to make you well, its to keep you a customer, treating symptoms instead of diseases. You attribute this to "middle men"?

-HH