Healthcare Quarterly, 14(4) November 2011: 44-46.doi:10.12927/hcq.2013.22650

Balancing Values

Optimizing Healthcare Access: through the Alignment of Economic and Ethical Imperatives     

Roderick A. Slavcev

Canada's system of universal access to healthcare, although ethical in intent, is complex, non-transparent and multi-faceted and lacks efficiency in design. The inability to fluidly seam the many "players" in the value chain from bench to bedside imparts resource wasting that compromises the universal access of Canadians to healthcare provision – a dire consequence in the face of the looming and rapid shift to an aging demographic. In this article, these players, each of whom represents an essential access point in our healthcare continuum, are introduced and briefly discussed.


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    Janet Walker wrote:

    Posted 2011/11/28 at 03:02 PM EST

    This is an important discussion as it brings forward the twin crises of current healthcare - ethics and economics. While the intent of universal access is ethical as is pointed out by the author, the outcome is not. Inequity is demonstrated daily in our wait times with the least advantaged among us waiting the longest and suffering the most. Adding the reality of economic unsustainability only serves to deepen the ethical challenge.
    I appreciate Dr. Slavcek's positive focus toward solutions. Using himself as an example, he invites each of us to ask "who do we serve?". In healthcare, no matter the player, the answer must be "the patient". With this proper acknowledgement, we would be ethically bound to rigorously include and collaborate with every other player in order to bring about the best ethical and economic result for the patient.


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