BLAKE DOYLE: A new medical prescription is needed

Blake Doyle is a business columnist for the SaltWire Network in Prince Edward Island.


Every medical decision has consequences. A prescription treatment as a cure ideally offers a lesser consequence than the disease.

Patients and physicians make weighted choices about the lesser evil to improve outcomes. Immediate relief is considered against a delayed consequence. There is a trade-off consideration with every decision.

Health care delivery systems have to make decisions about impossible options. In PEI, there is a tension of dispersion superimposed on perpetual increases in structural costs. It is a system that has evolved into an administration of coordination of human resources and infrastructure.

Community foundations are relied upon to buy equipment, with the province pouring concrete and moving people against a slipping tide that is sure to get tougher. Prince County Hospital raised $1.9 million in 2021 and Queen Elizabeth Hospital raised $8.9 million.

A popular K-Tel product introduced in 1963 was the Veg-0-Matic. A horizontal series of intersecting blades would be compressed together to serrate any vegetable placed between the press.

Health care swings dangerously between the blades of financial constraints and insatiable demands, pressured by both specters as the blades of reality weave their way through the flesh of service delivery.


Health spending is in a downward spiral. Growth rates vary, but according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2020 saw a 12.8% increase in required investments.


A new demand is emerging at the speed of cryptocurrency: healthcare consumerism. Medicine has gone from a privilege to a right.

Medicare has gone from an aspiration in 1957 to a consumable product where conflicting information is available on mobile phones and the expectation of an immediate solution is untenable.

A demanding public seeks reparation rather than responsibility. Consumerism has an attention span of 140 characters or less.

Health spending is in a downward spiral. Growth rates vary, but according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2020 saw a 12.8% increase in required investments.

The pace of health care spending has grown faster than other aspects of our economy. According to Prince Edward Island provincial estimates for 2022, health accounts for 34% of all expenditures.

Blake Doyle.  - Contributed
Blake Doyle. – Contributed

Having already eclipsed all government departments, health continues to absorb a greater share of provincial investments currently using almost all revenues from consumption sales taxes, personal income taxes and income tax. on corporate income.

Solutions are rarely considered because they are politically uncomfortable. True leadership must solve the problem, because the challenge only makes it worse.

The assessment of the relationship between service delivery and administration should be measured and the consolidation of services should be considered.

Is universal access achievable in a timely manner, can user fees curb behavior, is personal responsibility a primary course, are carrots and stick applied to the right measures, bureaucracy has does it create masses of inefficiency and should the effort be considered outside the panacea of ​​government?

A change of mentality will be necessary to correct, but the politicians do not have the mentality necessary to bring about changes.


It’s a difficult and blasphemous conversation and it’s the one that needs to happen. The trajectory of this sacred service has never been clearer. It is unbearable.


Health care is no longer seen as a service. It is an expectation, an unattainable ideal crushed under its own weight.

Professionals and administrators no longer provide a professional service but are servants of an insatiable system. The balance of balance has shifted.

When the most creative solution presented is a medical school that cannot be executed quantitatively, perhaps we need a collective shift in focus.

There are far greater structural deficiencies than brick and mortar. A school on the horizon, if ever operational, will not address hidden imbalances.

It’s a difficult and blasphemous conversation and it’s the one that needs to happen. The trajectory of this sacred service has never been clearer. It is unbearable.

There has been enough bad medicine administration. What is needed is a new societal pact, including re-education and public expectations, earlier intervention and channeled public investments.

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