Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Global TV - a factual deficit?

As the Royal Columbian Hospital doughnut shop story unfolded, Global TV was quick to redirect the discussion to promote private healthcare as a better alternative. Ted Chernecki began his News Hour report Tuesday March 1 stating that the Canadian medical system,
"was already ranked one of the worst in the world when it comes to bang for your buck. Are we simply throwing more good money after bad?"
A very bold statement, especially when accompanied by the proprietor of BC's largest private surgery suggesting that healthcare costs are bankrupting Canadian society. Bold, but is it true? Not in the opinion of legitimate economists. This is from American Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winning economist writing in the New York Times:
Everybody knows that the US spends much more on health care than anyone else, without getting better results. Everyone also knows that health spending has outpaced GDP growth everywhere, thanks to medical progress. What I didn’t realize was just how clearly the evidence shows that the rising trend is steepest in the US. We have the biggest increase as well as the highest level. We’re #1!  (Source: U.S. Dep't of Health & Human Services)
Healthcare costs as % of Gross Domestic Product
I sent an email to Global TV BC asking them what source they can cite for Chernecki's statement. This is the text:
This is further to my earlier request that you provide the source of and justification for Ted Chernecki`s statement on March 1 News Hour and News Hour Final that the Canadian healthcare system "was already ranked`one of the worst in the world when it comes to bang for your buck."

You have this obligation under the CBSC code:

"It shall be the responsibility of broadcasters to ensure that news shall be represented with accuracy and without bias. Broadcasters shall satisfy themselves that the arrangements made for obtaining news ensure this result. They shall also ensure that news broadcasts are not editorial.

"News shall not be selected for the purpose of furthering or hindering either side of any controversial public issue, nor shall it be formulated on the basis of the beliefs, opinions or desires of management, the editor or others engaged in its preparation or delivery. The fundamental purpose of news dissemination in a democracy is to enable people to know what is happening, and to understand events so that they may form their own conclusions."

Further, you have an obligation to respond to this complaint of biased coverage.

NHEX_Trends_Report_2010_final_ENG_web
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16 comments:

  1. Norm, thanks for staying on top of this story. You & others do an excellent job in keeping us up to date. I don't watch Global ( or others ) anymore. I'd rather read the truthful side as opposed to what the MSM feel is important to me. I just googled for info on our world ranking & after reading " AUGUST 21, 2009
    Health Care Expenditures: An International Comparison ", I can only say, Canada is doing quite well compared to the rest of the world. I'm no expert but I must agree that " "was already ranked`one of the worst in the world " is by no means based educated research. You also mentioned " accompanied by the proprietor of BC's largest private surgery ". Did Global also interview someone who presented the PUBLIC side of Health Care ?

    Guy in Victoria

    ReplyDelete
  2. No, of course not. But Brian Day is articulate and gracious when he speaks about the need to privatize. I suspect Global has stock footage on the shelf with Dr. Day's message.

    BTW, US healthcare costs rose to 17.6% of GDP in 2009. Canada was a bit over 10% in 2009.

    What do we have to learn from Americans when it comes to healthcare?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I too have largely ignored Global TV as a legitimate and informative news source. So too for the Globe & Mail.
    This may be a grave error inasmuch as we are giving them free reign to create the news without challenge.
    I hope you continue to pusue and publish this matter.
    This has grave implications. (pun intended)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I see these types of stories in the MSM as part of a "grooming" process - grooming in the sense of attempting to normalize behaviors that would otherwise be perceived as completely unacceptable, for the purpose of rendering the "groomee" more accepting of, or open to, exploitation or abuse.

    A big part of the remedy is to constantly exercise critical thinking skills and hold the MSM rigourously to account for everything they put out.

    That's why your blog (and others, including those that you've listed on your site) so important and so very much appreciated, Norm. Thanks for doing that and for covering these stories.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you. I sincerely appreciate the comments. Success here comes from stimulating independent thought about public issues although sometimes I feel lost in my own sea of cynicism. I wish that did not come so easily.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for your persistent work and insightful words.
    Was surprised the Canadian broadcast code requires accuracy and no bias.
    Given the content of the msm, how are they allowed to continue to operate?
    I presume enforcement and penalties are not as rigorous as the principles.
    Perhaps you could explain the complaint and resolution process to encourage more of us to complain when we see examples of biased or inaccurate reporting, thanks

    ReplyDelete
  7. Go get em Norman. They need confronting every time. Micheal Smyth on CKNW was talking about the tim Horton's incident and said he was told that it was designed for overflow. Yup, Tim Horton's was intended to be used as emergency overflow. Do you think they get a reduced rate for their lease?

    The crap coming out of right wing nuts is ....well there is no words anymore. Nutcases. All of them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sure it was designed for emergency overflow. That would be why each Timmy's table has oxygen lines, blood pressure gear, sinks and privacy screens as well as electrical outlets for clean power to run the monitoring equipment. Oh, also storage cabinets for bedding, medical supplies, emergency tracheotomy equipment etc.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Boy, that Colon Hansen doesn't know when to stop with the BC Liberal party BS - AKA as lies !

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  10. ..."Sure it was designed for emergency overflow. That would be why each Timmy's table has oxygen lines, blood pressure gear, sinks and privacy screens as well as electrical outlets for clean power to run the monitoring equipment. Oh, also storage cabinets for bedding, medical supplies, emergency tracheotomy equipment etc."

    LMAO!! Norm, this comment of yours is definitely one of the decade! You really should frame this one...really. Priceless!! I ended my long night of work laughing, something I seldom do these days. Thanks!

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  11. Hi Norm,

    Will you post the response from Global if you get one?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Of course. It will go up later today with more commentary. The source is a report promoted by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, the Winnipeg clone of the Fraser Institute.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The source is a report promoted by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

    Ah hah! :)

    As the Fraser Institute's credibility crumbles with the public look for "replacements" to step in. The FCPP is one of those.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Norm,

    If the FCPP report Global referenced is based on the Euro-Canada Health Consumer Index, which is itself based on the Euro Health Consumer Index, here is a study [PDF] from the University of Twente (Netherlands). From the conclusions:

    In general, although the EHCI is complementary to the OECD/WHO approaches, serious limitations in validity, comprehensiveness, relevance and functionality considerable undermines
    its added value for policy makers and consumers.


    The ECHI is published by Health Consumer Powerhouse (the Canadian version is a co-production with the FCPP) - which was established by the Swedish version of the Fraser Institute, Timbro.

    The Coles Note version: It's methodology is not transparent, and as is often the case in these studies, only utilizes those demographic groups and fields that support their argument, while neglecting to includes those that don't.

    ReplyDelete
  15. "... although sometimes I feel lost in my own sea of cynicism. I wish that did not come so easily."
    ---------------
    I know what you mean Norm, I also find myself more cynical as I grow older. You reminded me of a Lily Tomlin quote:

    "No matter how cynical you get, it's hard to keep up."

    Cheers, and thanks for your hard work!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ooops... sorry, the Tomlin quote is actually:

    " No matter how cynical you get, you can never keep up."

    Not a big difference perhaps, but I thought I should set the record straight.

    ReplyDelete

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