A sleight of facts?
Health P.E.I. fails to explain all the information about doctors, patients etc.
By the general direction of government, it appears that leadership doesn’t want to let the facts get in the way of a good story. The unofficial, yet official, directive by provincial government leadership to only communicate ‘good news’ is most disturbing.
This is a deliberate effort to leave out facts that do not fit a desired narrative. It is a deliberate attempt to ignore certain inconvenient truths. It is an effort to mislead. It is fake news, in a word – it is deceit. Though deceit has been part of political behaviour ever since there has been politics, when leaders issue a directive and that directive is promoted by government functionaries, it is in a realm beyond being slippery; this behaviour undermines the love of truth which is a cornerstone of democratic principles, of justice and of religious and ethical observance.
Government functionaries promoting such fakery deserve our pity but certainly not our subservience. We must refuse this Pollyanna of deceit of half news and insist as in Anne of Green Gables for ‘the facts, the facts, the facts.”
For instance, Heath P.E.I. tells us and expects us to believe that P.E.I. ranks as one of the best in the country with 85 per cent of people having a doctor versus 75 per cent in Canada. Yep, it’s good news if you say it often enough however, it is not true.
HPEI fails to tell you that P.E.I. has consistently had the lowest number of doctors per 1,000 patients in the country which leads to being among the worst wait times to see a doctor. Instead of hiring more doctors, the province is assigning nurse practitioners, who, though valuable, have a limited capability.
HPEI doesn’t tell you that it is limiting patient visitation to doctors or that mental health resources are grossly inadequate or that Health P.E.I. is continually losing specialists and key medical directors because the administration system is broken. HPEI doesn’t tell you that it has an administration three times the national average, yet P.E.I. has the lowest per capita spending on healthcare in Canada.
Health P.E.I. tells us there is only 4,500 people on the patient registry and that it is meaningful and working. However, there is more than double the amount of people waiting for a doctor but HPEI has parked them instead of listing them so they do not count.
It is a sleight of fact that only HPEI or an imaginative fouryear-old could concoct. By their own admission, HPEI patient registry reports have over double the people listed as needing a doctor. The registry is beyond fake news, it is just fake, yet HPEI management insists on painting its picture with these half-truths.
The provincial government will eventually be confronted by Abe Lincoln’s, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
Leadership and management must change its approach to reporting facts or we must change our leadership and management. If not our souls, than at the very least, our society depends upon it. In this instance, not only we can do better, we must do better.