Five bucks could save us a lot!

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    Once again we are starting to hear about problems with our health care system. People dying because of waiting lists and people being neglected in hallways. Sad but true. It's a good system, it just has a few bugs or "viruses" if you prefer. About ten years ago someone mentioned that perhaps we could charge a user fee to those people presenting themselves at outpatient clinics or for minor emergencies. (Describe Emergency? Wouldn't that mean life or death?) It seems to me user fees would probably reduce the outpatient problem by maybe even half. Imagine what that would do for the waiting lists, not to mention the overworked employees, and the overcrowding. I dislike hospitals with a passion, but this week I had to go for a special visitation and low and behold upon passing by the outpatient area I noticed there was not a seat available. I took a close look around and from what I could see no one seemed to be terribly sick. Some were reading the newspaper, some were reading books, others were watching TV. and some were actually sleeping. All things we can do in the comfort of our homes. (Maybe the sleepers were actually sick).

   So for ten years the user fee debate has been coming up, going away, and then coming up again. I think it is time to implement this procedure. A fee of $5.00 would seem a good place to start and I believe would have a substantial impact on outpatient activity. Grocery stores implemented a 5 cent charge for plastic bags, and now everyone brings their own bags. FIVE CENTS and the whole population changed it's way to grocery shop. Imagine $5.00 for a diagnosis to tell us we have a cold! It would be a revolution in the health care system, and a good one at that. Why isn't it happening? Must be politics, as usual, and perhaps the Doctors. Politics, because no party wants to be the bad guy and make us dig into our pockets once again. And since we don't hear the Doctors complaining, I presume they're comfortable with the present situation, at least most of them. Who will have the courage to act and solve the problem? Quebec could take the lead once again like they did on the environment and put this practice into action, and the sooner the better. All of Canada would benefit, and maybe the health care system would actually cost the Governments less money too.  

Oh oh, I think I have a headache coming on, but a couple of aspirin should probably solve the problem, or I could go and wait in line for three hours at one of our outpatient clinics to get a prescription for some tylenol. Hmmmm. I think I'll take the aspirin and go down the street to get a coffee and donut for five bucks.