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This week your President is doing a report. Our volunteer Leader, Rick, has to get ready for seeding.

Three decades ago when Rick Swenson and I were the youngest cabinet ministers in Grant Devine’s P.C. Government, our progressive ideas were occasionally accepted.

In the early days of Incentivism we were looking at using incentives in the health system. Your plastic Saskatchewan Health card was the first step in the incentivism experiment.

Look at your blue, green, yellow, and dumb health card. Turn it over and you will see a magnetic strip. Pcsask.ca introduced this innovative health card, in our plan to revolutionize the Saskatchewan Health system.

Before you or your parents received this plastic card, the NDP had a paper health card. Back then there was no pcsask.ca, the internet was just invented, you had a dumb phone, and the Health Department had an antique computer system.

This smarter health card was adapting existing technology. Credit cards had a magnetic strip to swipe them. The plan was to have the plastic Health Card work like a health credit card. The patients use their health credit card and the taxpayers pay the bill each month. Medicare is the Canadian way, but it doesn’t have to inefficient.

The new card was to be connected to a new computer system. You would have presented it at the doctor, hospital, labs, and pharmacies. You would be presented with a bill so you can see what had been done and sign for the services charged to your card. The card was a foundation for an informative and financially secure health system. Premiers Romanow, Calvert, Wall, and Moe, inherited the plastic credit card and have done nothing with new technology.  The NDP, Sask. Party, and Provincial auditor never seemed to be able to figure out how to implement the plan.

Smart cards with computer chips have been invented and placed in your bank cards. The internet developed, smart phones replaced land lines, and tap technology have all become common IT devices. You still have your dumb Health Card because the NDP and Sask Party Governments have not had the vision or ability to use the new technology.

The pcsask.ca vision is for smart a Health Card operating in a united coordinated health system. Saskatchewan is now years behind the world in technology. The Sask. Party still has a lean mean and dumb health system eighteen years into the new millennium. Hospital charting, medical data, hospital and pharmacy data and billing are still in the last century.

The Canada health system must be dragged into a modern data based smart health system.

The February 2018 issue of the Economist has Doctor You on their cover. They have reported parts of the world are adopting the health technology Rick Swenson and I envisioned. The Economist is reporting in the future you the patient will be included and integrated in the provision of your health care. You the patient will be one of your doctors by helping diagnose your condition.

You (the patient) care and know more about your health than anyone in the health system. In Saskatchewan, our antiquated health records system limits your access to your health records.

Our dumb Health Card gives doctors and the health monopoly no access to your records. A smart card in a smart system would give instant access to health professionals. Modern AI progress could help instantly diagnose your condition and even recommend treatment.

If you now want access to your scattered paper health records, you will have to pay a large fee for high cost employees to gather and copy your records.

What you, the patient, really need to know is that in the U.S. 250,000 people per year die from medical errors. The Economist claims that most of these deaths can be attributed to poorly coordinated care.

Proportionally, in Canada 25,000 people per year would die from medical errors. You or I should not be one of the victims of our inefficient health system.

In Sweden, the government proposes to give citizens electronic access to their medical records by 2020.

Pcsask.ca has solutions to modernizing our health system. A smart Health Card is part of the solution.

Grant Schmidt - President P.C. Party of Saskatchewan – Pcsask.ca