Wil­liams’s faith in sys­tem mer­its some skep­ti­cism

Cape Breton Post - - COMMENT - Er­win Zodrow Cox­heath

Shouldn’t the state­ment by Danny Wil­liams, premier of New­found­land and Labrador, about his faith in the Cana­dian health-care sys­tem be viewed with sus­pi­cion, be taken with a grain of salt, be seen as hyp­o­crit­i­cal or con­tra­dic­tory?

I went through the sys­tem ex­pe­di­tiously, but the re­cov­ery time that was lengthy. In 2000 I had open heart surgery, a dou­ble valve re­place­ment done in one 12-hour ses­sion. This in­cluded re­place­ment of my mi­tral valve which is Wil­liams’s prob­lem, ac­cord­ing to Cana­dian press re­ports.

My heart is now more pig­gish than hu­man, but who cares? I can go about my old busi­ness as usual.

The re­place­ments were done at Hal­i­fax’s Queen El­iz­a­beth II Health Sciences Cen­tre without a hitch and by a world-rec­og­nized car­diac sur­geon. I showed my grat­i­tude by pub­lish­ing in a mono­graph a fos­sil plant species af­ter his name, and I be­lieve he is prob­a­bly the only car­diac sur­geon in Canada to be hon­oured in this fash­ion.

By the way, yes, I have a cut in my breast­bone done by this sur­geon who is widely known for his knife econ­omy, mak­ing small in­ci­sions.

By Wil­liams’s own ac­count he wanted to avoid such a frontal in­ci­sion, which he ac­com­plished through a pro­ce­dure in Florida.

I can­not know whether this was for rea­sons of van­ity, med­i­cal ne­ces­sity or in­creased prob­a­bil­ity of sur­vival. If the lat­ter, it speaks for an in­dict­ment of the qual­ity and ex­per­tise of the Cana­dian health­care sys­tem, in­clud­ing med­i­cal train­ing; it would be con­fir­ma­tion of a two-tier sys­tem which de facto al­ready ex­ists for the rich and pow­er­ful, in­clud­ing prime min­is­ters and the like.

True, this premier did not jump the line of wait­ing Cana­di­ans but what about the ques­tion of trust in our Cana­dian sys­tem?

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