Aging population, pricey, high-tech equipment is driving up costs

Should be more mini-emergency clinics to handle the many patients who don’t need a hospital

Editor, The News:

Re:  (B.C. Views, Feb. 18).

I’m not exactly sure what bee is under Tom Fletcher’s bonnet this time.

Health care is ever increasing, not so much from our misuse, but largely due to the aging population and the constant introduction of extremely expensive equipment and diagnostic technology. This is a fact of life.

I think that tying health budgets to economic growth is problematic.

Just because the economy is doing well or poorly does not affect the cost of treating people. If the government doesn’t think that it can afford to or doesn’t want to cover these increases, it needs to be up front and justify its decisions.

There can obviously be improvements. Some overheads and management can be streamlined and careful overview of budgets may help.

I often feel that there should be more mini-emergency clinics set up to handle the many patients who don’t need a hospital. Cuts can be stitched up, stomach pains diagnosed and medications prescribed or dispensed as necessary.  A concerned young mother with a baby crying from an ear ache can be quickly reassured.

If a real hospital visit is required, then the patient can be sent on with the initial notes forwarded to help the hospital physicians. Maybe this wouldn’t work, but these sorts of ideas can be pursued.

Paul Gregory

Maple Ridge

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