Healthcare – How Much Money Will It Take to Repair?

By Larry Coté, Managing Director, Lean Advisors Inc.

Before giving out money, maybe we should be asking some simple questions

  • ‘How much money will it take to fix Healthcare?’
  • ‘Why does healthcare not seem to improve (and in some cases gets worse) as more and more money is injected?’
  • ‘Why do other healthcare organizations spend less per capita and have better service and quality?’

Throughout the Healthcare sector, we are blessed with excellent dedicated medical professionals and support workers. They accomplish miracles in a system that we all agree is broken, and they somehow give us the care we require.

With out a doubt, Healthcare is an area where we, as taxpayers, should ‘invest’ some of our tax dollars. The key word here is ‘invest’ not ‘spend’. Invest means we are expecting a positive result/return such as better quality, service, or efficiency and hopefully all three.

Healthcare is a massive and complex environment with many levels of care, administration, departments, oversight agencies, government groups, and added to that complexity is the fact that it is dealing with ever-changing demands/needs of people.

The concern is giving organizations large sums of money without any solid detailed plans with calculated results, and without analysis of previous funding outcomes, is reckless/risky. Without taking the time to complete an analysis of past experiences, and understand the current state (baseline) which includes understanding all the potential of existing resources which entails knowing the current ‘waste/non-value’ in the system, will result in nothing more than guessing what is really needed – people, equipment, space etc. It is impossible to develop a future vision, a strategic direction, or an effective tactical plan. The likely outcome is you keep ‘repaving the cow path’ (which has done many times already).

Giving out large amounts of money to any large complex organizations without a solid business case seems reckless. Especially since this has been tried many times over the years and has proven to be unsuccessful in meeting expectations. I repeat, I am all for ‘investing’ in Healthcare. I just think it should be broken down, planned, and distributed to areas that demonstrate detailed business plans based on 1) past experience, 2) current state analysis, and 3) future state vision/direction/plan and have a calculated measurable ROI in quality, service and efficiency.

Canadian Health Manager News – Jan. 25, 2024 – Leger asked people to choose words that come to mind when they think about Canada’s healthcare systems, 66% chose “long waits,” 42% chose “stressed” and 40% chose “failing.”