We're coming at it from different perspectives, of course. She's a specialist; I'm a general practitioner. Her days are spent being run off her feet; my days are spent off my feet on my ass. Patients and colleagues revere her; they revile me. And of course, she works full time; I don't.
Anyway, the debate was around the ways the health care system needs to change, something we're both intimately familiar with. She was reading a white paper out of the UK that called for sweeping reforms of the way health care is planned, thought about, and above all how it's led (we both agreed on "not well" for that last one). As it stands, our health system is too hierarchical, too rigid, and too bureaucratic.
I didn't disagree, but don't think high-level, high-falutin' reform is the way to go. There are thousands upon thousands of people toiling away in Canada's health care systems, the overwhelming majority of whom are neither interested nor capable of sweeping, visionary reform. History has proven that Canadian institutions are spectacularly terrible at implementing grand visions. I argued that you can only play the cards you're dealt, and the bureaucracies, unions, and so on are too calcified and entrenched to tear apart.
It got me thinking. Everyone pushed me into blogging, to put my One Asshole's (Informed) Opinions out there...but about what? To what end? I started thinking about what we all go through, whether we work in health care or not. That is, we all have arguments around the dinner table about political issues, and health care is almost always near or at the top of the list. Moreover, I find myself explaining the same things, delivering the same spiel, over and over again.
So for the purpose of saving many breaths in the future, and to arm you, the reader, for your own future dinner arguments, I'm going to use the blog as a way to enlighten anyone interested about the workings of health care, from structural basics to nitty-gritty specifics of health care in Ontario. It will be a complement to the memoir, which is about the practice of medicine itself rather than policy.
No statistics and no references will be cited, because I'm lazy, but I promise it will be 100% bullshit free. If there's anything you want to read about specifically or sooner, leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail. Otherwise, I hope you'll find what I have to say useful, at the very least to give your friends and family a verbal spanking around the dinner table. If not, well, it's just One Asshole's Opinion.