1. alexquintas:

aburningrose:

whowasntthere:

mixtapecomics:

After a discussion last week with several of my cartoonist peers (and at the behest of Steve Bissette): I want to talk about image theft and uncredited content on social media. I’m only going to speak from personal experience (and only about the one image posted above) but I hope that this example will show the disservice this causes to any artist whose artwork is edited and reposted without credit.
[Disclaimer: I post all my work online for free. I want people to read, enjoy, and share my work. I have no problem with people reposting my work if it’s credited and unaltered. (That way new readers can find their way to my site to read more.) My problem is when people edit out the URL and copyright information to repost the images as their own for fun or profit.]
Below, I’ve listed the sites where my comic was posted and how many times it was viewed on / shared from each of those sites. (The following list was composed from the first ten pages of Google.) Let’s take a look at the life of this comic over the last 11 months. 
On January 23 (2013) I posted the comic on my journal comic website, Intentionally Left Blank, and on my corresponding art Tumblr (where it currently has 5,442 notes). The same day, it was posted (intact, with the original URL and copyright) to Reddit. (There, credited, it has received 50,535 views.)The Reddit post alone was exciting but on January 24, someone posted an edited version of the image (with the URL and copyright removed) to 9GAG. That uncredited posting has been voted on 29,629 times and shared on Facebook 22,517 times. That uncredited image caught on and spread like wildfire:
January 25: LOLchamp (39 comments. Views unknown.)January 26: WeHeartIt. (With the 9GAG ad at the bottom. Views unknown.)January 26: Random Overload (2 Facebook likes. Views unknown).January 26: CatMoji (41 reactions. Views unknown.)January 26: The Meta Picture (1,800+ Facebook likes. 6,000+ Pintrest shares)
February 5: damnLOL. (929 Facebook shares. Views unknown.)February 7: LOLhappens. (1,400+ Facebook shares.)February ?: LOLmaze (121 shares)February ?: LOLzbook (37 likes and 37 shares).On March 25, I was lucky and this comic was featured in a Buzzfeed post “36 Illustrated Truths About Cats.” The comic was featured alongside work by a 35 other artists who I admire and aspire to be. (Exciting!)Buzzfeed was able to trace the uncredited image back to me and listed a source link to my main website but still posted the uncredited version of the image. The post currently has 6,000+ Facebook shares, 14,000+ Facebook likes, and 727 Tweets. Ever the optimist, I’ll count those numbers in the “credited views” column.The problem with Buzzfeed posting the uncredited image and only listing the source underneath was: people began to save their favourite comics from the article and repost them in their personal blogs without credit. (13, 3, and 60 Facebook likes, respectfully.) I’m mentioning this not to target Buzzfeed or the individuals reposting, but to show the importance of leaving the credits in the original image.March 30: FunnyStuff247. (47,588 views.)March 31: LOLcoaster. (1 Facebook like. Views unknown.) April 5: ROFLzone. (1,200+ Facebook shares. Views unknown.)April 26: LOLwall. (70 Facebook likes. Views unknown.)
July 23: The uncredited image was chopped into four smaller pieces and posted on the Tumblr of TheAmericanKid, where he sourced it to FunnyStuff247. (124,786 notes and featured in #Animals on Tumblr.)
Aug 21: Eng-Jokes.com. (87,818 views and 41,400+ Facebook shares.)
Oct 2: MemeCenter. (284 Facebook likes. Views unknown.)Oct 5: FunnyJunk. (3,327 views.)Oct 10: LikeaLaugh. (1,486 views.)
Nov 20: Quickmeme. (280,090 Facebook shares. Views unknown.)Nov 20: JustMemes. (6 Facebook shares.)
There were 14 other sites which listed uncredited versions of the image within the first 10 pages of Google, but they were personal blogs so I’m not going to include them here.
One additional website I haven’t mentioned was Cheezburger, who originally posted the uncredited version of comic on January 23; but later modified it to the credited image after I contacted them. They didn’t contact me when they made the change but the image currently has 2,912 votes and 4,700 Facebook shares. Let’s be optimistic and count those as credited views and shares. 
That brings us up to the current views and shares of the comic. Now let’s do some math.
I’ve removed the comments and reactions (because they could already be accounted for in views). I’ve left in votes, however, because some sites list votes instead of views.
Taking into consideration that Tumblr notes are made up of both likes and reblogs, let’s be conservative and say the Tumblr notes are twice as high as they should be. (That every single person that has viewed the image on Tumblr has liked the image and reblogged it.) Dividing the Tumblr notes in half, that leaves us with:
Posts using the credited image:2,912 votes2,721 Tumblr notes50,535 views727 Tweets0 Pintrest shares14,000 Facebook likes10,700 Facebook shares
Posts using the uncredited image:29,629 votes62,393 Tumblr notes140,219 views0 Tweets6,000 Pintrest shares2,085 Facebook likes347,984 Facebook shares
Adding those up and treating them all like views (assuming that every shared post was viewed once):
The original (unaltered, credited/sourced) version of the comic has been viewed 81,595 times.
The edited, uncredited/unsourced version of the comic has been viewed 588,310 times. (That’s over half a million views. Seven times more than the original, credited version.)
What does that mean for me as a creator? On the positive side, I created something that people found relatable and enjoyable. I succeeded at that thing I try to do. But, given the lack of credit, it also means that 88% of 669,905 people that read this comic had no chance of finding their way back to my website.
This was a successful comic. I want to be able to call this exposure a success. But those numbers are heartbreaking.
Morally, just the idea of taking someone’s work and removing the URL and copyright info to repost it is reprehensible. You are cutting the creator out of the creation. But worse yet, sites like 9GAG are profiting off the uncredited images that they’re posting.
9GAG is currently ranked #299 in the world according to Alexa rankings. As of April of this year, their estimated net worth was around $9.8 million, generating nearly $13,415 every day in ad revenue.
As a creator of content that they use on their site: I see none of that. And I have no chance of seeing any kind of revenue since readers can’t find their way back to my site from an uncredited image. 
I don’t want to sound bitter. The money isn’t the point. But this is a thing that’s happening. This isn’t just happening to me. It’s actively happening to the greater art community as a whole. (Especially the comics community. Recent artists effected by altered artwork/theft off the top of my head: Liz Prince, Luke Healy, Nation of Amanda, Melanie Gillman, etc.) Our work is being stolen and profited off of. Right this second.
I do my best to see the positive in these events but the very least I can do as a creator is stand up in this small moment and say “This is mine. I made this.”
Something need to be done by the community as a whole: by the readers as well as the creators. We need to start crediting our content/sources and reporting those who don’t. Sites like 9GAG need to be held accountable for their theft of work. If you see something that’s stolen: say something to the original poster, report the post, or contact the creator of the artwork.
If you have an image you’d like to post but don’t know the source: reverse Google image search it. Figure out where it came from before you post. If you like it enough to share it, it means there’s probably more where that came from.

Oh hey look, another comic of ours was stolen by BuzzFeed (linked to in this post, under “36 Illustrated Truths About Cats.” )They hotlinked to ChaosLife, too, which is really fucking sickening — a hotlink basically taxes our site traffic without giving us any ad revenue - in essence, we pay more for our site server for the traffic, but get nothing in return. BuzzFeed Not Only Makes Profits Off These Articles, But They Also Pay Their Staff For The Articles. 
They Are Paying Their Staff to Steal Your Content.
We’re currently in talks with BuzzFeed about paying us, thanks to a Tweet by Erika Moen fueling them to pay her for her comic’s use, as well. They said they’ve sent a check. They’ve stolen almost 10 of our comics over just this past year for their “articles.” Most are uncredited. 
ARTISTS: If BuzzFeed STAFF MEMBERS (not users, just Staff) use your work in an article, even credited, their rate is $50 per unfair use of your comic. Contact BuzzFeed right away if your work has been unfairly used. I know it’s definitely not a lot of money (and not anywhere close to our commission prices), and not even worth what the ad revenue would have gotten if the comics hadn’t been stolen, but instead simply linked to, but it’s a way to get them to stop doing this shit.
Now, go forth and get your money. Because demanding that we get paid (even if we don’t wind up getting paid) is holding them accountable, and in a lot of ways, it will make them and sites like 9GAG think twice about their shitty theft practices.
I’m tired of being quiet and I’m tired of playing nice with sites that don’t benefit creators, but instead pocket the money for themselves.

The more I hear about websites like BuzzFeed and 9GAG stealing and profiting off of other people’s hard work, the more it makes me sick to my stomach. If those stats above are anywhere close to accurate, then we need to put an end to all of this as soon as possible.
People! Please! Don’t support websites like 9GAG and BuzzFeed with your page views! And don’t let them get away with art theft! 

Just don’t go to buzz feed… they’re part of the problem when it comes to not only art theft but “news” and information in general. And 9gag is the shitsmear of the internet. Please, be better than this..

    alexquintas:

    aburningrose:

    whowasntthere:

    mixtapecomics:

    After a discussion last week with several of my cartoonist peers (and at the behest of Steve Bissette): I want to talk about image theft and uncredited content on social media. I’m only going to speak from personal experience (and only about the one image posted above) but I hope that this example will show the disservice this causes to any artist whose artwork is edited and reposted without credit.

    [Disclaimer: I post all my work online for free. I want people to read, enjoy, and share my work. I have no problem with people reposting my work if it’s credited and unaltered. (That way new readers can find their way to my site to read more.) My problem is when people edit out the URL and copyright information to repost the images as their own for fun or profit.]

    Below, I’ve listed the sites where my comic was posted and how many times it was viewed on / shared from each of those sites. (The following list was composed from the first ten pages of Google.) Let’s take a look at the life of this comic over the last 11 months.
     

    On January 23 (2013) I posted the comic on my journal comic website, Intentionally Left Blank, and on my corresponding art Tumblr (where it currently has 5,442 notes). The same day, it was posted (intact, with the original URL and copyright) to Reddit. (There, credited, it has received 50,535 views.)

    The Reddit post alone was exciting but on January 24, someone posted an edited version of the image (with the URL and copyright removed) to 9GAG. That uncredited posting has been voted on 29,629 times and shared on Facebook 22,517 times. That uncredited image caught on and spread like wildfire:

    January 25: LOLchamp (39 comments. Views unknown.)
    January 26: WeHeartIt. (With the 9GAG ad at the bottom. Views unknown.)
    January 26: Random Overload (2 Facebook likes. Views unknown).
    January 26: CatMoji (41 reactions. Views unknown.)
    January 26: The Meta Picture (1,800+ Facebook likes. 6,000+ Pintrest shares)

    February 5: damnLOL. (929 Facebook shares. Views unknown.)
    February 7: LOLhappens. (1,400+ Facebook shares.)
    February ?: LOLmaze (121 shares)
    February ?: LOLzbook (37 likes and 37 shares).

    On March 25, I was lucky and this comic was featured in a Buzzfeed post 36 Illustrated Truths About Cats.” The comic was featured alongside work by a 35 other artists who I admire and aspire to be. (Exciting!)

    Buzzfeed was able to trace the uncredited image back to me and listed a source link to my main website but still posted the uncredited version of the image. The post currently has 6,000+ Facebook shares, 14,000+ Facebook likes, and 727 Tweets. Ever the optimist, I’ll count those numbers in the “credited views” column.

    The problem with Buzzfeed posting the uncredited image and only listing the source underneath was: people began to save their favourite comics from the article and repost them in their personal blogs without credit. (13, 3, and 60 Facebook likes, respectfully.) I’m mentioning this not to target Buzzfeed or the individuals reposting, but to show the importance of leaving the credits in the original image.

    March 30: FunnyStuff247. (47,588 views.)
    March 31: LOLcoaster. (1 Facebook like. Views unknown.) 

    April 5: ROFLzone. (1,200+ Facebook shares. Views unknown.)
    April 26: LOLwall. (70 Facebook likes. Views unknown.)

    July 23: The uncredited image was chopped into four smaller pieces and posted on the Tumblr of TheAmericanKid, where he sourced it to FunnyStuff247. (124,786 notes and featured in #Animals on Tumblr.)

    Aug 21: Eng-Jokes.com. (87,818 views and 41,400+ Facebook shares.)

    Oct 2: MemeCenter. (284 Facebook likes. Views unknown.)
    Oct 5: FunnyJunk. (3,327 views.)
    Oct 10: LikeaLaugh. (1,486 views.)

    Nov 20: Quickmeme(280,090 Facebook shares. Views unknown.)
    Nov 20: JustMemes. (6 Facebook shares.)

    There were 14 other sites which listed uncredited versions of the image within the first 10 pages of Google, but they were personal blogs so I’m not going to include them here.

    One additional website I haven’t mentioned was Cheezburger, who originally posted the uncredited version of comic on January 23; but later modified it to the credited image after I contacted them. They didn’t contact me when they made the change but the image currently has 2,912 votes and 4,700 Facebook shares. Let’s be optimistic and count those as credited views and shares.
     

    That brings us up to the current views and shares of the comic. Now let’s do some math.

    I’ve removed the comments and reactions (because they could already be accounted for in views). I’ve left in votes, however, because some sites list votes instead of views.

    Taking into consideration that Tumblr notes are made up of both likes and reblogs, let’s be conservative and say the Tumblr notes are twice as high as they should be. (That every single person that has viewed the image on Tumblr has liked the image and reblogged it.) Dividing the Tumblr notes in half, that leaves us with:

    Posts using the credited image:
    2,912 votes
    2,721 Tumblr notes
    50,535 views
    727 Tweets
    0 Pintrest shares
    14,000 Facebook likes
    10,700 Facebook shares

    Posts using the uncredited image:
    29,629 votes
    62,393 Tumblr notes
    140,219 views
    0 Tweets
    6,000 Pintrest shares
    2,085 Facebook likes
    347,984 Facebook shares

    Adding those up and treating them all like views (assuming that every shared post was viewed once):

    The original (unaltered, credited/sourced) version of the comic has been viewed 81,595 times.

    The edited, uncredited/unsourced version of the comic has been viewed 588,310 times. (That’s over half a million views. Seven times more than the original, credited version.)

    What does that mean for me as a creator? On the positive side, I created something that people found relatable and enjoyable. I succeeded at that thing I try to do. But, given the lack of credit, it also means that 88% of 669,905 people that read this comic had no chance of finding their way back to my website.

    This was a successful comic. I want to be able to call this exposure a success. But those numbers are heartbreaking.

    Morally, just the idea of taking someone’s work and removing the URL and copyright info to repost it is reprehensible. You are cutting the creator out of the creation. But worse yet, sites like 9GAG are profiting off the uncredited images that they’re posting.

    9GAG is currently ranked #299 in the world according to Alexa rankings. As of April of this year, their estimated net worth was around $9.8 million, generating nearly $13,415 every day in ad revenue.

    As a creator of content that they use on their site: I see none of that. And I have no chance of seeing any kind of revenue since readers can’t find their way back to my site from an uncredited image.
     

    I don’t want to sound bitter. The money isn’t the point. But this is a thing that’s happening. This isn’t just happening to me. It’s actively happening to the greater art community as a whole. (Especially the comics community. Recent artists effected by altered artwork/theft off the top of my head: Liz Prince, Luke Healy, Nation of Amanda, Melanie Gillman, etc.) Our work is being stolen and profited off of. Right this second.

    I do my best to see the positive in these events but the very least I can do as a creator is stand up in this small moment and say “This is mine. I made this.”

    Something need to be done by the community as a whole: by the readers as well as the creators. We need to start crediting our content/sources and reporting those who don’t. Sites like 9GAG need to be held accountable for their theft of work. If you see something that’s stolen: say something to the original poster, report the post, or contact the creator of the artwork.

    If you have an image you’d like to post but don’t know the source: reverse Google image search it. Figure out where it came from before you post. If you like it enough to share it, it means there’s probably more where that came from.

    Oh hey look, another comic of ours was stolen by BuzzFeed (linked to in this post, under “36 Illustrated Truths About Cats.” )They hotlinked to ChaosLife, too, which is really fucking sickening — a hotlink basically taxes our site traffic without giving us any ad revenue - in essence, we pay more for our site server for the traffic, but get nothing in return. BuzzFeed Not Only Makes Profits Off These Articles, But They Also Pay Their Staff For The Articles.

    They Are Paying Their Staff to Steal Your Content.

    We’re currently in talks with BuzzFeed about paying us, thanks to a Tweet by Erika Moen fueling them to pay her for her comic’s use, as well. They said they’ve sent a check. They’ve stolen almost 10 of our comics over just this past year for their “articles.” Most are uncredited. 

    ARTISTS: If BuzzFeed STAFF MEMBERS (not users, just Staff) use your work in an article, even credited, their rate is $50 per unfair use of your comic. Contact BuzzFeed right away if your work has been unfairly used. I know it’s definitely not a lot of money (and not anywhere close to our commission prices), and not even worth what the ad revenue would have gotten if the comics hadn’t been stolen, but instead simply linked to, but it’s a way to get them to stop doing this shit.

    Now, go forth and get your money. Because demanding that we get paid (even if we don’t wind up getting paid) is holding them accountable, and in a lot of ways, it will make them and sites like 9GAG think twice about their shitty theft practices.

    I’m tired of being quiet and I’m tired of playing nice with sites that don’t benefit creators, but instead pocket the money for themselves.

    The more I hear about websites like BuzzFeed and 9GAG stealing and profiting off of other people’s hard work, the more it makes me sick to my stomach. If those stats above are anywhere close to accurate, then we need to put an end to all of this as soon as possible.

    People! Please! Don’t support websites like 9GAG and BuzzFeed with your page views! And don’t let them get away with art theft!

    Just don’t go to buzz feed… they’re part of the problem when it comes to not only art theft but “news” and information in general. And 9gag is the shitsmear of the internet. Please, be better than this..

    (via infectedworldmind)

     
  2. androdjinni:

    smearedwithscreams:

    (Images should be read from the bottom, up.)

    GoFundMe is allowing a campaign for people to donate money to Darren Wilson, the cop who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

    When called on this, and how it violates their ToS, GoFundMe’s response was to delete the hateful, disgusting, racist comments from the donations. They refused to end the campaign. Apparently it is only “promoting hate, violence, racial intolerance, or the financial exploitation of a crime” if people can see the deplorable sentiments behind the donations. Somehow deleting the evidence of those sentiments magically changes what those donations are for: rewarding a police officer for killing Michael Brown.

    This is absolutely a direct violation of GoFundMe’s ToS, yet GoFundMe is refusing to act. These are people giving money to an individual that gunned down an unarmed black teen. He is profiting from this killing, and it directly promotes racial intolerance and violence. There is no reason why GoFundMe should allow this campaign to continue…

    … Except that GoFundMe gets 5% of the cut. In this case, 5% of 235k is $12,500. GoFundMe and Darren Wilson both are profiting off the killing of Michael Brown, and GoFundMe has decided they’d rather take their cut of the money than follow their own ToS. $12,500 is apparently what it takes to abandon justice.

    Please, join in the boycott of GoFundMe, and consider signal boosting this.

    Thank you.

    Go fund me has done other shitty things as well.

    (via notemily)

     
  3. kissnecks:

    knitmeapony:

    My next million dollar idea: reluctant exercise videos with people who aren’t perky.

    "Just five more… I know, I kind of want to die right now too, but let’s just power through it."

    "Okay, new yoga pose.  It’s going to ache like a bastard until your hamstrings release, I’m not gonna lie."

    "Stretch a little deeper… it’s okay to yell ‘fuck’ at this point, I won’t tell anyone."

    yes

    (via afternoonsnoozebutton)

     
  4. flightcub:

    totalitarian dystopian future lit is like “what if the government got so powerful that all the bad stuff that’s already happening ALSO HAPPENED TO WHITE PEOPLE?”

    (via irish-mexi)

     
  5. atane:

    atane:

    This is an absolutely heartbreaking case of police brutality. A 22 year old black man with down syndrome was beaten by the police for the bulge in his pants. That bulge turned out to be his colostomy bag. They ripped the bag off his body. This was an unprovoked attack. No one is safe out here.

    Reblogging with updated link. The old one was dead.

    Remember the case of 22 year old Gilberto Powell.

     
  6. eviltessmacher:

    postracialcomments:

    The parents of a toddler who was severely injured when a SWAT team’s grenade exploded in his face may be on the hook for all of his medical expenses.

    Georgia will not pick up the tab for the more than $500,000 worth of medical treatment Bounkham Phonesavanh received after he was injured during a botched drug raid in May.

    "It leaves me heartbroken to know that they really don’t have any compassion or remorse for what they’ve done to my family," Phonesavanh’s mom, Alecia, told The Huffington Post. "

    I read all these articles about how bad they feel and how traumatized they are, but I don’t see it. I don’t see it in their words or their actions at all.”

    A SWAT officer threw a flash grenade that landed in the toddler’s crib, badly burning him. The blast left holes in Phonesavanh’s face and tore away at his chest, exposing his ribs.

    He was put into a medically induced coma for days and, at one point, had only a 50 percent chance of survival, his family said.

    Authorities said that they previously purchased drugs from the house and that there was no evidence to indicate a child would be present.

    The suspect, wanted on federal drug charges, was not there. The American Civil Liberties Union has challenged the assertion that there was no sign a child could be present, saying that there were toys in the front lawn.

    Phonesavanh said there were no drugs found in the house and that it was “not a drug house.” Now, the county says it’s not legally allowed to pay the child’s medical bills.

    "The question before the board was whether it is legally permitted to pay these expenses," the county said in a statement sent to the station. "

    After consideration of this question following advice of counsel, the board of commissioners has concluded that it would be in violation of the law for it to do so.

    Source

    It was an even bigger violation of the law to not have due diligence in making sure the paramilitary forces had the right house.

    Sue the everloving fuck out of them.

    (via other-stuff)

     
  7.  
  8.  
  9. thepeoplesrecord:

    redtemplo:

    BUSTED! Gov. Running #Ferguson Twitter Psyop

    GOD!

    Thousands of bots on Twitter tweeting out the same racist, anti-Michael Brown tweets. This, at least, is detectable/provable. But rest assured, in addition to easily purchasable bots there are paid individuals representing both private and government interests who are paid to wear down your resolve, troll you, shift opinion, convolute conversations, etc. regarding private business interests, foreign interests like this Israel student union Facebook war room, but much more organized. 

    Although I think engaging in meaningful conversations is important, I think being vigilant for your own mental health  is important. You should feel good/guiltless about blocking people, turning off the anonymous ask function, and ignoring trolls who will never try to actually have a meaningful dialogues because often their whole agenda is simply to ware you down. 

    (Source: yourfavoriteauntie, via bohemianarthouse)

     
  10. I once told a joke about a straight person.

    They came after me in droves.

    Each one singing the same:

    Don’t fight fire with fire.

    *

    What they mean is: Don’t fight fire with anything.

    Do not fight fire with water.

    Do not fight fire with foam.

    Do not evacuate the people.

    Do not sound the alarms.

    Do not crawl coughing and choking and spluttering to safety.

    Do not barricade the door with damp towels.

    Do not wave a white flag out of the window.

    Do not take the plunge from several storeys up.

    Do not shed a tear for your lover trapped behind a wall of flame.

    Do not curse the combination of fuel, heat, and oxygen.

    Do not ask why the fire fighters are not coming.

    *

    When they say: Don’t fight fire with fire.

    What they mean is: Stand and burn.

    — Stand and Burn by Claudia Boleyn.  (via claudiaboleyn)

    (via think4yourself)

     
  11. torisoulphoenix:

paulamaf2013:

whatazendra:

Just let this sink in for a bit. #ferguson

SMH

WELP.

    torisoulphoenix:

    paulamaf2013:

    whatazendra:

    Just let this sink in for a bit. #ferguson

    SMH

    WELP.

    (via misandryandmakeup)

     
  12. sehvn:

    prettyblackpastel:

    whitepeoplesaidwhat:

    blacksupervillain:

    finaldisciple:

    Four White guys with multiple weapons were taken into custody.  Not shot and kill and left out on the road.  They were arrested and given due process.  They’re names aren’t leaked.  We’re not seeing invasions into their facebooks for impeding trials.  We’re not even seeing mug shots.  We don’t know if they’re anarchist, klan or anything at all.  We just know they left the scene of a armed chase alive.

    This is the difference and the outrage.

    they always show us the truth with their actions

    HM AND THEYRE STILL ALIVE TO TELL THE TALE. Interesting.

    Let’s just reiterate: “Four White guys with multiple weapons were taken into custody.  Not shot and kill and left out on the road.  They were arrested and given due process.” 

    Four white guys

    With multiple weapons

    Taken into custody

    Given due process

    the difference between how black and white lives are regarded.

    (via randomactsofchaos)

     
  13.  
  14. allthecanadianpolitics:

Canadian Medical Association leader slams Ottawa’s inaction on medicare

The new leader of the Canadian Medical Association is calling out the government of Stephen Harper for its inaction on health care, saying the medicare system is floundering and Canadians are “tired of excuses as to why the federal government can’t take action.”
Dr. Chris Simpson said some “brave leadership” is required to fundamentally reshape the health system to reflect the changing needs of an aging population, and it should come from Ottawa.
“There is a failure of our system to recognize how our country has changed,” he told delegates in his inaugural address to the CMA general council meeting in Ottawa on Tuesday. “Our system doesn’t deliver the quality of care it should. It doesn’t deliver the timeliness that it should. And it doesn’t deliver the value for money that it should. Canadian patients deserve better. We all deserve better.”
Simpson said given the challenges posed by the aging baby-boomer demographic, the starting point for health-care reform needs to be creating a comprehensive seniors’ strategy.
He said that, while he recognizes the constitutional niceties – namely that health-care delivery is principally a provincial responsibility – the “constitutional construct we have had for too long served as an excuse for the federal government to be absent from the table.”
Ottawa should not usurp provincial responsibilities, he said, but it still has a role as a co-ordinator and unifier and “federal leadership has never been needed more than it is today.” The CMA president said that while the group is non-partisan, Canada’s 80,000 doctors will assist any and all political parties that commit to implementing a comprehensive seniors’ strategy.
Citing a poll commissioned by the CMA, he said voters have grave concerns and 95 per cent of them want a seniors’ strategy.
The Nanos survey of Canadians age 45-plus showed that 78 per cent of those polled are worried they will not be able to access necessary health services, and 81 per cent also expressed worries about the quality of the care they will be get.
Simpson said those fears are justified given the state of Canadian health care. He cited a recent report from the Commonwealth Fund that shows Canada’s health system ranks next to last (after the United States) on virtually every measure of quality and access. The top-ranked countries were Britain, Switzerland and Sweden.
“What do these successful countries have that we don’t?” Simpson asked.
The answer, he said, is that they have three key traits in common: “They have a clear commitment to quality improvement, with goals and targets; they have buy-in and leadership from doctors; and they have strong leadership from a committed federal or national government.”
What Canada has, by comparison, is a system that was fashioned to meet the acute-care needs of a young population in the 1950s that is now trying to meet the chronic-care needs of an aging population, and has no clear plan to change.
Simpson said Canada’s seniors – especially those with multiple chronic conditions – lack proper primary care and end up in overcrowded emergency rooms and hospitals by default, and at great expense.
“We put people in beds instead of putting them in a care environment that lifts them up and restores them and helps them live a dignified life,” he said.
This warehousing of seniors means health-care delivery costs at least $2.3-billion a year more than if care were provided in a more humane fashion, in a community setting, Simpson said. He noted too that only 16 per cent of Canadians have access to quality palliative care at end-of-life.
“It seems crazy, doesn’t it?” he said. “No one would ever design a health system like we have now.”
Fixing the way care is delivered to seniors is the crucial first step toward fixing the health system more generally, Simpson said.
In an address to the CMA general council on Tuesday morning, Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the Official Opposition, also slammed Mr. Harper’s government for its indifference to health care.
“We face a government here in Ottawa that is more interested in defunding public health care than protecting it,” he said.
Mulcair said a New Democratic Party government would restore the cuts to health-transfer payments that have been implemented.
“Money may not be the solution for every problem facing our health-care system,” he said, “but it is definitely a necessary precondition.”
Follow André Picard on Twitter: @picardonhealth

    allthecanadianpolitics:

    Canadian Medical Association leader slams Ottawa’s inaction on medicare

    The new leader of the Canadian Medical Association is calling out the government of Stephen Harper for its inaction on health care, saying the medicare system is floundering and Canadians are “tired of excuses as to why the federal government can’t take action.”

    Dr. Chris Simpson said some “brave leadership” is required to fundamentally reshape the health system to reflect the changing needs of an aging population, and it should come from Ottawa.

    “There is a failure of our system to recognize how our country has changed,” he told delegates in his inaugural address to the CMA general council meeting in Ottawa on Tuesday. “Our system doesn’t deliver the quality of care it should. It doesn’t deliver the timeliness that it should. And it doesn’t deliver the value for money that it should. Canadian patients deserve better. We all deserve better.”

    Simpson said given the challenges posed by the aging baby-boomer demographic, the starting point for health-care reform needs to be creating a comprehensive seniors’ strategy.

    He said that, while he recognizes the constitutional niceties – namely that health-care delivery is principally a provincial responsibility – the “constitutional construct we have had for too long served as an excuse for the federal government to be absent from the table.”

    Ottawa should not usurp provincial responsibilities, he said, but it still has a role as a co-ordinator and unifier and “federal leadership has never been needed more than it is today.” The CMA president said that while the group is non-partisan, Canada’s 80,000 doctors will assist any and all political parties that commit to implementing a comprehensive seniors’ strategy.

    Citing a poll commissioned by the CMA, he said voters have grave concerns and 95 per cent of them want a seniors’ strategy.

    The Nanos survey of Canadians age 45-plus showed that 78 per cent of those polled are worried they will not be able to access necessary health services, and 81 per cent also expressed worries about the quality of the care they will be get.

    Simpson said those fears are justified given the state of Canadian health care. He cited a recent report from the Commonwealth Fund that shows Canada’s health system ranks next to last (after the United States) on virtually every measure of quality and access. The top-ranked countries were Britain, Switzerland and Sweden.

    “What do these successful countries have that we don’t?” Simpson asked.

    The answer, he said, is that they have three key traits in common: “They have a clear commitment to quality improvement, with goals and targets; they have buy-in and leadership from doctors; and they have strong leadership from a committed federal or national government.”

    What Canada has, by comparison, is a system that was fashioned to meet the acute-care needs of a young population in the 1950s that is now trying to meet the chronic-care needs of an aging population, and has no clear plan to change.

    Simpson said Canada’s seniors – especially those with multiple chronic conditions – lack proper primary care and end up in overcrowded emergency rooms and hospitals by default, and at great expense.

    “We put people in beds instead of putting them in a care environment that lifts them up and restores them and helps them live a dignified life,” he said.

    This warehousing of seniors means health-care delivery costs at least $2.3-billion a year more than if care were provided in a more humane fashion, in a community setting, Simpson said. He noted too that only 16 per cent of Canadians have access to quality palliative care at end-of-life.

    “It seems crazy, doesn’t it?” he said. “No one would ever design a health system like we have now.”

    Fixing the way care is delivered to seniors is the crucial first step toward fixing the health system more generally, Simpson said.

    In an address to the CMA general council on Tuesday morning, Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the Official Opposition, also slammed Mr. Harper’s government for its indifference to health care.

    “We face a government here in Ottawa that is more interested in defunding public health care than protecting it,” he said.

    Mulcair said a New Democratic Party government would restore the cuts to health-transfer payments that have been implemented.

    “Money may not be the solution for every problem facing our health-care system,” he said, “but it is definitely a necessary precondition.”

    Follow  on Twitter: @picardonhealth

     
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