Conservatives For Patients' Rights' Ad Features Doctor Who Favors Universal Health Care

April 27, 2009 12:57 pm ET

An ad released by Conservatives for Patients' Rights on April 27, 2009, featured Dr. Brian Day, a Canadian surgeon, discussing the negative effects of a universal health care system.  The ad conveniently left out the fact that Dr. Day is a supporter of universal health care; he merely opposes the funding model currently used in Canada.

Conservatives For Patients' Rights Featured Canada's Dr. Brian Day.  Rick Scott's Conservatives for Patients' Rights featured a statement by Canadian doctor, Dr. Brian Day.  Day said: "Patients are languishing and suffering on wait lists, our own Supreme Court of Canada has stated that patients are actually dying as they wait for care..." [Conservatives for Patients' Rights, 4/27/09]

Dr. Day Supports Universal Health Care

Dr. Brian Day "Says His Goal Is The Survival Of The Universal Health System." As reported by the Montréal Gazette: "He's been called Dr. Profit and the Darth Vader of health care, but the Canadian Medical Association's new president says his goal is the survival of the universal health system.  Orthopedic surgeon Brian Day, co-founder of the private Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver, says he's not promoting a two-tiered United States-style system." [Montréal Gazette, 11/1/07]

Dr. Day Mocked America's Private Health Care System

Dr. Brian Day Mocked The Ineffectiveness Of America's Private Health Care System.  As reported by the Montréal Gazette, Dr. Brian Day said, "Canada's health system has been ranked 30th by the World Health Organization, and the U.S. was ranked 37th...Why would anyone copy a system that ranks substantially below ours?" [Montréal Gazette, 11/1/07]

  • Day Supports Using Health Care Model Used By Britain & Australia - Not The U.S. As reported by Maclean's: "'Say an MRI costs $750,' [Dr. Brian] Day said on a short break between knees. 'Every time St. Paul's performed an MRI, they would get $750.' The more MRIs, CT scans, joint replacements and bypass surgeries hospitals like St. Paul's perform, the more money they bring in. This model, which Britain adopted in 2004, is known as 'patient-based funding' or 'payment-by-results' and is used, says Day, in Britain, Australia, Norway, France-in fact, in every developed country except Canada. To some, B.C.'s approach, which injects business principles like incentives and competition into the public system, amounts to an 'Americanization' of medicare [sic]. To Day, it's simply a step away from a 'foolish' approach to funding hospitals. 'This is how everyone else is doing it,' he says, hands thrown skyward in exasperation." [Maclean's, 6/30/08; emphasis added]

Dr. Day Merely Opposes Canada's Out-Dated Funding Model

Day Supports Publicly Funded Health Care, He Merely Opposes "Flat" Funding.  According to Montréal Gazette, "The way provinces fund hospitals promotes waiting lists, he argued.  Hospitals ration care and operating-room time because they get block funding - that is, an annual budget. Instead, Day proposes, hospitals should get funded for each patient they treat. 'Hospitals look upon patients as a cost,' he said. 'But once a hospital realizes that patients are a source of revenue, albeit government funding ... they will get doctors and operating room time.' What government officials fail to recognize is that they will save billions of dollars when they get rid of waiting periods, Day said." [Montréal Gazette, 11/1/07]

  • Day Supports Public Health System That Pays Hospitals Per Patient, Rather Than Per Year. Maclean's reported, "'If you give someone all the money upfront, every patient who comes along is just bust to you--they're just using up your money,' says [Dr. Brian] Day. 'That's bad management. It doesn't encourage productivity or provide any incentive to fill spots when procedures are can-celled.' Within three to four years of the program being implemented, he says, B.C. will see significantly shorter wait times and more efficient hospitals." [Maclean's, 6/30/08]

"He Argues That Public Funding For Hospitals Should Be Attached To Patients... Giving Hospitals An Incentive To Treat More People."  The Financial Post reported, "His ideas have little in common with the creation of a two-tier medical system favouring the wealthy that his opponents fear most. Instead, he talks about the need to revise the 23-year-old Canada Health Act, which he says is out of date, given the progress medicine has made thanks to new and costly technologies, such as MRIs, high-performance drugs and 'laser this and robotics that.' He says Canadian hospitals lag behind other countries in terms of developing information systems to monitor and assess the quality of care they provide. And he argues that public funding for hospitals should be attached to patients -- just as it is for family doctors-- giving hospitals an incentive to treat more people. Not exactly nightmare stuff." [Financial Post, 10/1/07]

"Having Hospitals Billing Governments Based On The Services Provided Will Foster Rapid Change." The Financial Post reported, Dr. Brian Day "argues that having hospitals billing governments based on the services provided will foster rapid change. It will give incentives for hospitals to perform more procedures and clear up backlogs. 'This is what's happening in Britain, right now,' Day says. 'It's doable simply by changing the funding system and introducing market principles into the way hospitals are run.'" [Financial Post, 10/1/07]