Health care in cri­sis

The Compass - - OPINION -

Dear edi­tor,

The Cana­dian Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion (CMA) has rec­om­mended to Health Canada that a tax-de­ductible long-term care in­surance be con­sid­ered to al­le­vi­ate the health care costs in Canada. The CMA has stated that the “ pub­lic health care sys­tem is un­sus­tain­able.”

On Aug. 5, Cana­dian pre­miers from all prov­inces and territories met in Win­nipeg and they, too, stated that “there is an ele­phant in the room” in a press con­fer­ence, re­fer­ring to the cost of health care.

I have been an ad­vo­cate for health care and have even made a pro­posal to the min­is­ter of health, only to be re­jected, even though the New­found­land and Labrador Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion said it had merit and could re­duce wait times.

The premier did not at­tend the premier’s con­fer­ence, send­ing in­stead Jerome Kennedy, Min­is­ter of Health. His back was giv­ing him prob­lems and that’s fine, but why didn’t he send Kathy Dun­derdale, the deputy premier, or Dave De­nine, min­is­ter of in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal af­fairs?

Hav­ing worked with mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence, I am fa­mil­iar with how to eval­u­ate what govern­ment’s say and do, and how to an­a­lyze that in­for­ma­tion for what is re­ally be­ing said or planned.

Over the past year, there has been too many co­in­ci­dences and slips re­gard­ing health care. It ap­pears that gov­ern­ments across Canada have been “ test­ing the wa­ter” with their com­ments and in­sights into the cost of heatlh care, and what that money could be used for.

Our own premier tested the wa­ter with both feet when he went to Florida for surgery that he could have got­ten in Canada within a week. While the rest of Canada screamed, New­found­lan­ders ap­plauded his re­cov­ery and news ar­ti­cles com­mented on his new hair­style.

He even did a full in­ter­view on NTV News and stated the surgery he re­ceived was “not of­fered here,” which met with out­cry from car­di­ol­o­gists across Canada, yet noth­ing of the sort was pub­lished here.

I be­lieve we are be­ing played as fools by the Cana­dian and pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments. With health care be­ing in the state that we find it, they are hop­ing that we will agree to the CMA’s rec­om­men­da­tions and then govern­ment can get “ the ele­phant OUT of the room.”

If a fed­eral elec­tion is called this year, health care will be one of the ma­jor play­ers in whether the Con­ser­va­tives will get a ma­jor­ity, a mi­nor­ity, or even re­tain power.

As long as Cana­di­ans con­tinue to close their eyes to what govern­ment is do­ing and sup­port their health care in­com­pe­tence, we con­tinue to get closer to los­ing the health care we know.

If we al­low this to hap­pen, we will see other so­cial pro­grams such as em­ploy­ment in­surance, old age se­cu­rity, and the Canada Pen­sion Plan be­come the next “ele­phant in the room.” It’s all down hill — or down south — from there. Robin Brent­nall


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