As health activists, we are on a mission to innovate healthcare. If you could change one thing in the healthcare landscape right now, what would it be?
I am Canadian not American. If I were American there are more than a few things I would change because I know people who suffer under a system designed in such a way. Nevertheless, I am not.
I live in Canada. We have great healthcare. I go break a bone, go get it fixed at no cost to me. Bravo. But say they prescribe a medication for it. I have to have a plan through work. If I don’t I pay out of pocket. If I have a crappy insurance plan then I pay most of it. I personally have 80% coverage, my spouse has 80%, so I pay nothing, usually.
What I would change is that medications are also free to patients and are a part of Healthcare. I say this because by the government taking it on they actually would save money in the long run and people would be able to get any medication they needed. Not just the ones they can afford on their plan. Or if they have no plan, not just the medications they could afford. My medications are not cheap. I have looked at the prices. The amount of money I would need to pay for them? Literally impossible. Someone with my health without a plan coverage? Would never manage it.
That is an idle fantasy of mine.
Also a big one I’d like to see:
What I would also do for pain patients in particular is open more pain clinics. Much more multidisciplinary pain clinics. Each patient would have access to free physio treatment, yoga classes, mindful medication classes, session with a psychologist to assess mental illness, a psychiatrist visit to assess medication if they are mentally ill. Exercise classes to have instructors there to help them slowly, and correctly, learn what exercises they need to do and learn how to do them. Pain doctors to assess treatments and medications as well as overall response to all treatments. Comprehensive program would last a year for chronic pain patients. After that they could continue to see a psychologist, if needed. And most would continue to see pain doctors. There would be the expectation they would continue with the rest of the program at home. Yoga program would continue to run as would mindful medication for anyone who wanted to sign up for additional work.
Ideally there would be wellness centers as well covered federally so that people could go to a center and get physio, acupuncture, and other highly recommended alternative treatments free of cost. No more out of pocket business. So you would get a referral to the pain clinic first. And in your follow up care to the Wellness center for other things to help you manage your pain along with the routines you had established.
That is what I would change. Medications and alternative treatments, free and comprehensive pain clinics with longer programs and More of them for patients.
My final change… doctors get taught a lot more about pain in school.