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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’

Canada’s Wait Times for Healthcare Are Huge. Activists Blame Free Markets. | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 22, 2021

Ontario, of the approximately nine thousand deaths in the province, 41 percent, occurred in these homes. The public response to this tragedy has become a growing outcry to “nationalize” or rather have the province make all residences publicly funded and controlled. The worst part of this rallying cry, noble as it may be, is the assumption that LTC homes are private to begin with. In reality, the only thing “private” about long-term care homes is their name. These homes are almost entirely funded by the province, with the rest of the cost highly regulated. Doomed from the start, it is no wonder that these institutions collapse under the slightest amount of external pressure.

https://mises.org/wire/canadas-wait-times-healthcare-are-huge-activists-blame-free-markets

Trevor Schleihauf

For the past sixteen months, headlines have been broadcast across our televisions cautioning us that the elderly and vulnerable populations are most at risk of this life-threatening COVID-19 virus if we do not stop the spread. Despite the preventative measures, long-term care (LTC) homes have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. In Ontario, of the approximately nine thousand deaths in the province, 41 percent, occurred in these homes. The public response to this tragedy has become a growing outcry to “nationalize” or rather have the province make all residences publicly funded and controlled. The worst part of this rallying cry, noble as it may be, is the assumption that LTC homes are private to begin with. In reality, the only thing “private” about long-term care homes is their name. These homes are almost entirely funded by the province, with the rest of the cost highly regulated. Doomed from the start, it is no wonder that these institutions collapse under the slightest amount of external pressure.

When one says that a business is private, it conjures images of free enterprise and entrepreneurship. Even if that is not the first picture that comes to mind, one likely imagines that the consumer, or in this case, the patient, pays for the services. The unfortunate side effect is that people also think, “The greedy capitalist murdered my grandmother.” Those who think this way are the folks that wish to gallop down the trail to full public ownership. While one can understand the sentiment, the basis of this outcry is flawed at best.

In the 2020 April budget, the Ontario government spent $5.76 billion on LTC homes. This egregious sum of money goes toward all medical staff and supplies, recreation programs, support services, and even the groceries purchased for the home. The price charged to the residents is effectively an administration fee and covers nonmedical support staff as well. The catch to this cost is that the province sets maximum levels for these fees, essentially regulating what extras the homes can and cannot afford. At most, LTC homes are allowed to charge eighty-eight dollars a day for a long-term private room. It should be evident that although LTC homes are owned by private entities, they are hardly private in the economic sense, with the government picking up most of the tab and regulating the rest.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) of Ontario has put together a plan to end for-profit healthcare. Still, they really have to ask themselves, “If the government is already paying for all the medical care and controlling the rest of the system, how will more government control make this better?” Although the answer is that no amount of further intervention could make it better, and it’s best to examine why.

Like all central planning, the NDP’s plan and public healthcare in general face the economic calculation problem and knowledge problem hanging over them like the sword of Damocles. The problems that we see with the long-term care homes, such as lack of beds, long waitlists, shortage of nurses, and overall lackluster patient care, are the exact same problems that plague the rest of public healthcare in Ontario and Canada. In Ontario, wait times from the initial doctor’s visit to treatment are approximately 17.4 weeks, which also happens to be the shortest wait time in Canada. When one considers that Canada has the worst wait times out of all the countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the situation is dire. Further, it is significant to note that Canada is the only OECD country with a 100 percent public healthcare system. As the government has no competition, there are no price signals in the market. Without these signals, no economic calculation can occur, and thus no optimum can ever be attained. If the goal is to make LTC homes better, why hand the system over to a government that clearly cannot run the healthcare sector they already control? If 100 percent public control doesn’t work for primary healthcare, how could it ever improve the standards for LTC homes? Andrea Horvath, the leader of the Ontario NDP, and the rest of the party have no answers for these questions in their plan and likely never will.

We know rent control and subsidies distort equilibrium for the worse, reducing overall welfare and inevitably harming more people than it helps. This is, in effect, what the government is doing for LTC homes. There is an enormous market for safe and affordable LTC homes; let us increase investment and competition, and thus availability. I highly doubt any politician would develop a plan that would lead to an improvement in healthcare. The best way to improve long-term care homes is for the government to stop planning, stop paying, and stop interfering. The sad reality is that no politician would sacrifice their votes in favor of a real solution. Author:

Trevor Schleihauf

Trevor Schleihauf is a twenty-year-old economics student at the University of Ottawa in Canada. To supplement his undergraduate education, he devotes his free time to researching Austrian economics, specifically money and banking.

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Why Did Twitter Censor An Eminent Infectious Disease Expert For His Opinion On COVID Vaccines? – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on May 17, 2021

In Canada, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario put out a note stating that physicians who are publicly contradicting public health orders and recommendations, and there are many of them, will be subjected to an investigation, especially if they are communicating “anti-vaccine, anti-masking and anti-lockdown statements.”

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2021/05/16/why-did-twitter-censor-an-eminent-infectious-disease-expert-for-his-opinion-on-covid-vaccines/

ByArjun Walia

In Brief

  • The Facts:In March, Harvard epidemiologist and vaccine expert Dr. Martin Kulldorff was subjected to censorship by Twitter for sharing his opinion that not everybody needed to take the COVID vaccine.
  • Reflect On:Why are so many opinions, evidence and research receiving no mainstream media attention at all? Why are some of them ridiculed and censored? Why do we always get one narrative from government health authorities?
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Martin Kulldorff, one of the world’s preeminent and most cited infectious disease epidemiologists from Harvard University’s School of Medicine has experienced what many others in the field have experienced during this pandemic, censorship and ridicule. Kulldorff has been quite critical of the response to COVID by multiple governments, including the measures put in place to combat the spread of the virus. Sometimes it seems as if scientists and doctors who question these measures are actually in the majority, while the minority seem to get all of the attention and praise within the mainstream media. Who knows what these numbers actually look like.

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Lockdown measures are a great example. A wealth of data has been published in peer-reviewed science and medical journals suggesting that not only have lockdowns been inadequate for stopping the spread of the virus, but they’ve also caused a great deal of damage in both the health and economic sector. Two renowned Swedish scientists, Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson, have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS  and come to the conclusion that least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID.

Internationally, the lockdowns have placed 130 million people on the brink of starvation. The lockdowns in developed countries have devastated the poor in poor countries. The World Economic Forum estimates that the lockdowns will cause an additional 150 million people to fall into extreme poverty, 125 times as many people as have died from COVID at the time of the estimate. These are a few of many examples.

“Lockdowns are the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 yrs. We will be counting the catastrophic health & psychological harms, imposed on nearly every poor person on the face of the earth, for a generation” —Dr Jay Bhattacharya, Stanford Professor of Medicine.

That being said, an argument can, and has also been been made for lockdowns halting or slowing the spread of the virus, and there are examples of that as well. You can read about that more here.

The point is that one side of the argument is censored, ridiculed, and ignored most of the time, while the other gets front and centre stage. Why?

In Canada, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario put out a note stating that physicians who are publicly contradicting public health orders and recommendations, and there are many of them, will be subjected to an investigation, especially if they are communicating “anti-vaccine, anti-masking and anti-lockdown statements.”

How is science and data that calls into question government public health recommendations “anti” anything? Why are these labels always used? Why are physicians and scientists being bullied into silence and subjected to extreme amounts of censorship on their social media platforms? Kulldorff has been one many victims of this treatment, while scientists who agree with and promote the “accepted narrative” seem to receive interview requests from mainstream media outlets all the time. This isn’t normal, and it’s served as a catalyst for more people to ask, what’s really going on here?

What Happened: Kulldorff’s tweet in March suggesting that not everyone needed to be vaccinated, particularly those who have previously been infected, was labelled ‘misleading’ by Twitter. Tweeters were rendered unable to interact with his tweet and were instructed that ‘health officials recommend a vaccine for most people’. Twitter did not provide any explanation, links, or reasoning as to why his tweet was “misleading.”

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