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Canadian Public Hospitals’ Overload


The emergency wards in public hospitals are overstretched in terms of the physical space and staff who should attend to the patients. According to a recent survey by MacQueen (1), patients are always forced to wait for close to one hour before they can get critical services at the emergency rooms. Some patients have complained that they were forced to wait for over one and a half hours before getting services at this department. This is a cause of concern to the Canadian government as it tries to improve healthcare services in the country.

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Situation Analysis

Public hospitals in Canada have been offering quality care for so many years. Its healthcare services have been regarded as one of the best in the world. However, recent studies are indicating that these hospitals are currently becoming inefficient because of poor planning. According to Browning and Zupan (81), Canada is one of the most popular destinations in North America for immigrants. Some of these immigrants come to the country legally, and are therefore, properly documented and budgeted for by the government. However, others immigrate illegally into the country through the porous borders. Planning for these unknown people is one of the biggest challenges for the Canadian government (Brander 34).

Most of the public hospitals are overstretched. The condition is worse in the emergency rooms that are forced to accept any patients without forcing them to identify themselves. Sometimes these patients are brought to the emergency rooms in critical conditions that morally bar the medical staff from demanding for proper identification. A good number of these patients are illegal immigrants who are not planned for by the government. It explains why most of these public hospitals are currently overstretched. The problem may soon escalate if the relevant authorities fail to take necessary measures.

Economic Analysis

Economic analysis of the case provided shows that the government needs to act now to protect the economy. Maintaining a health population is the best way of achieving economic prosperity (Brimacombe, Antunes, and McIntrye 38). Cost benefit analysis shows that the program may force the government into extra expenditure, but the benefits outweigh the costs. This strategy can be justified using economic theories such as Leviathan Theory which supports government expenditure into the economy.

Risk Analysis

In case the current situation at most of the Canadian hospitals is not effectively addressed, then a number of risks may be inevitable. The major risk is that the number of people who will be losing their lives at the waiting rooms will increase. As Romanow (46) observes, a person in need of an emergency care may not afford to wait for over one hour before getting medical attention. The huge workload on the current workforce may influence them to consider going into private practice, a move that may worsen the current conditions. The consequence will be having public hospitals which are understaffed.

Option Analysis

The national and state government can address this problem from a number of approaches. The first approach will be to increase the funding to the health sector to make it possible to hire more staff and expand the physical structures. The second move will be to document all the people residing in Canada. If possible, the illegal immigrants should either be awarded asylum status or be deported back to their countries of origin. The national assembly may also consider coming up with rational policies which will empower the executive to expand the budget for the health sector in cases where the facilities are under pressure.

Assessment of the Proposal

It is important to analyze the strengths and weakness of this proposal that seeks to address the problems that are currently facing public hospitals in this country. The main strength of the paper is that it was based on a number of recent studies conducted in the country’s health sector. Using several sources makes it easy to identify biasness in any of the literatures reviewed (Gagon 29). The research also relied on recent news reported on the leading media channels. This enabled the researcher to have an insight into the state of affairs at the hospital.

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The major weakness is that the researcher did not conduct a primary research to confirm the claims made in the media and information provided in the literatures. As Belchetz (4) notes, sometimes people tend to either exaggerate or underrate some issues based on personal interests. The government insists that healthcare system in Canada is one of the best in the world while the opposition leaders argue that things are getting worse in this sector. It is important to confirm the truth by conducting primary research.

Personal Recommendations

To address the problem affecting the healthcare sector in this country, the government should adopt a policy similar to the United States’ Affordable Healthcare Act. Using this best practice that has worked in the United States will help ensure that this department has enough resources to facilitate its expansion. The rich should help the poor in financing healthcare services. The government should also consider reviewing its immigration policies. People with skills in nursing and medicine who are willing to immigrate to Canada should be motivated to do so. This is supported by a number of economic theories (Wilson 113). Their skills will help in addressing the problem of understaffing at most of the public hospitals.

Works Cited

Belchetz, Brett. “Canada’s war on healthcare economics.” National Post 8 Jul. 2014: 4. Print.

Brander, James. Government Policy toward Business. Hoboken: Wiley & Sons, 2006. Print.

Brimacombe, Glenn, Pedro Antunes, and Jane McIntrye. Conference Board of Canada, Future Costs of Health Care in Canada, 2000 to 2020-Balancing affordability and sustainability. Ottawa: Wiley.

Browning, Edgar, and Mark Zupan. Microeconomics: Theory & Applications. Hoboken: Wiley, 2006. Print.

Gagon, Marc-Andre. A Roadmap to a Rational Pharmacare Policy in Canada. Northfield: Carleton University, 2014. Print.

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MacQueen, Ken. “Our Health Care Delusion.” MacLean’s. 2011: 1. Print.

Romanow, Roy. Building on Values: the Future of Health Care in Canada. Saskatoon: McMillan, 2002. Print.

Wilson, James. Bureaucracy- What Government Agencies do and Why they Do It. New York: Basic Books, 2000. Print.

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