Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Does the Jepp quad's U.S. birth show that Canada's healthcare runs like clockwork?

I liked Graham Muirhead’s cheeky idea in his Feedback post in the St. Catharines Standard (Sept.5 , 2007): It would be wonderful to have a fully equipped hospital on every corner in Canada! (I’d settle for even one fully-equipped, fully-functioning hospital in St. Catharines!)
Wasn’t that the shiny promise that conman Tommy Douglas peddled to us in the 1960’s? (Wasn’t that coincidentally the decade when St. Catharines last saw a hospital built?)

It’s hard to take seriously Muirhead's strained position that sending Ontario patients to the States shows that our superior system runs like clockwork. What propaganda. What it shows is that the clock is behind the times and needs repair.
Canadians pay enough taxes to expect the best healthcare system, but what we get is rhetoric and promises and wait lists (on this topic, also see Greg Weston's story "Medicare's not free" in the Sept.14, 2004 Toronto Sun, pg.19)
What we get in Ontario's single-payer monopoly is a status-quo “with insufficient equipment, space and expertise” - which is somehow perceived by leftist propagandists to be a success.

If, for example, we’re satisfied with one patient being shuffled off to Buffalo because Ontario’s much-vaunted system failed... (yes, failed; how else can you see it? Why else would we send them? Why else would they go?!) provide timely medical services, then why not advocate simply taking the next step and outsourcing most or all medical services to the States?
Let’s not pretend we can buy our way out of our own responsibilities by outsourcing to the country whose system the lib-left loves to deride. The straw-man of “bankruptcy” is countered with the fact that it is OHIP’s monopoly which sets the stage for these instances to develop. What choice is there for individuals to opt out of OHIP’s clutches and OHIP’s “solutions”? None!

We’ve seen what the OHIP bureaucracy, along with its political masters, can do to patients in Ontario - as was revealed by Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin's investigation of the Suzanne Aucoin situation.
And whether it’s the Jepp quad’s case in Alberta, or any other instance, the cost is not 'free'.

Ontario’s healthcare budget represents somewhere in the range of 45% of  Ontario's entire provincial budget.
Would we see improvement if our healthcare monopoly’s budget doubled to, say, 90% of our entire budget? How much is enough? And what would we be willing to forego in lieu? I believe that being at the mercy of a government monopoly making all the decisions is not the best option for patients, or taxpayers.

Dr. W. Gifford-Jones wrote in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (Jun.2, 2007) about an Ontario man’s torturous ordeal after he suffered third-degree burns, and his doctor, Glenn Gibson, could not find any burn facilities in Ontario to take him to. (see Burned by Ontario's health system, patients flown to United States for treatment)

Wrote Gifford-Jones: “Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto had five burn units - but no staff to service them, so Dr. Gibson turned to the U.S.”
"NO STAFF"???! How is this even possible in Ontario, a province with nearly 13 million people?

After unreal delays... (which honestly one has to read the full story - see: No burn unit staff in Ontario: patient flown to States - to believe it, because you’d think this can’t be happening in 2007 in Ontario) ...the patient was flown, without paramedics, and through the heroic efforts of Dr. Gibson, to Strong Medical centre in Rochester, N.Y., at which point, OHIP demanded he be flown back from Rochester to Canada, as apparently, they didn’t want to pay for skin-grafts there! So, after four days, the patient was sent back to Ontario to get the treatment which Ontario's Liberal government should have been able to provide him within hours of his accident, in the first place.

Shall we proudly portray this too as a 'Muirheaded' triumph of Ontario’s healthcare system?!

Does the suffering of patients mean anything to a government monopoly? Or is this just ‘anecdotal’ evidence of a flawed health system?
For good measure, the Peterborough Examiner reported on Aug. 21, 2007 that another burn victim was sent from Ontario to Rochester, for treatment that our $38 billion health monopoly couldn’t seem to be able provide.

What is Ontario's burn treatment capacity should a busload of people get burned and need immediate care?

By the way, an Ontario election’s coming up. Why don’t we get some answers from the Liberal scoundrels running for re-election? Handing another five-year mandate to the McGuinty crew who deride the American system while utilizing it to prop up their own broken promises will create a code blue for all Ontario patients. We can do better.

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