Business & Policy

Dr. Whatley: Single-payer healthcare – the good, the bad and the nutty

Dr. Shawn Whatley is past-president of the Ontario Medical Association. He has worked in emergency medicine, as a coroner, in a vein clinic, and as a surgical assistant. He also held a leadership role at a large suburban hospital. He now practises family medicine in rural Ontario. Visit his blog at

Written by Dr. Shawn Whatley on January 21, 2019

We often miss the obvious. David Foster Wallace described it best in This is Water:

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” … And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?

We often cannot see and do things that are obvious and easy for others. Both the French and English mangle certain words in each other’s language. But neither one finds difficult what the other finds impossible. Steve Martin, as Inspector Clouseau, immortalized the challenge. Medicare is almost 50 years old. Most of us cannot remember care before medicare. Many were born after it started. How do we describe something we live with every day?



Categories: Business & Policy

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