In this Scholar-in-Residence Program monograph, Globe and Mail columnist André Picard aims to answer one question: “How do we reform our health care system?” He says we must continue to focus on the principles of medicare: universality, accessibility, comprehensiveness, portability, and public administration. He argues that two opposing extreme views—that medicare is an unsustainable failure or an unalterable sacred cow—have made it impossible to have a constructive debate, and that the way to reform lies somewhere between them. After examining the history of health care systems in Canada and other developed countries, Picard argues that Canada’s system needs to be modernized by conciliatory, cooperative, pragmatic leaders. We need to set clear limits on what the system covers, build on successes, find the most effective funding mechanism, and address five key gaps: pharmacare, primary care, community care, social determinants of health, and health care quality.
Three distinguished health care experts offered their insights into health care reform at the 2012 CIBC Scholar-in-Residence Lecture.