Friday, November 30, 2007

Healthcare: reform, not rhetoric

This by Roman Bobak, "Health care: reform, not rhetoric" (Niagara This Week, Oct.20, 2006):

"Having read Joseph A. Sommer’s letter in Niagara This Week, Sept. 29, I wonder if we could stop wrapping our flag around the Canada Health Act, cloaking it in misplaced jingoistic nationalism, and endowing it with sacred, immutable powers.

Canada is not the only country in the world with with a universal health system, and universal-healthcare is not the same thing as a government-run monopoly.The CHA needs reform to acknowledge a patient's right to choice in health care payer and provider options.

Can we reconsider our predictably typical knee-jerk reaction of bashing the U.S. healthcare system, which is a red-herring argument and does nothing to improve our own failing system?
Yes, Americans in a country of some 300 million don't buy health insurance - but in Liberal Ontario, over a million people out of some 12 million don't even have a doctor - and they are insured by OHIP! The model Canada needs is the European hybrid of public and private-parallel health-care. As for fear-mongering about Conservatives, we can thank the NDPer-reincarnated as a Liberal Bob Rae for cutting med-school enrolments in Ontario during the dark days of his socialist reign in the early '90s.

Two-tier is here and has been for a long time. Allan Rock admitted in 2000 that "Liberals have allowed a parallel system of private for-profit medicine to flourish". Jean Chretien said "It's not a sin" to promote private health care. Jack Layton said the NDP would not seek to close private clinics, and was himself a patient of the private Shouldice clinic. Tommy Douglas believed private health care options were a fundamental aspect to his sysytem, as was the concept of a patient co-pay. Liberal Keith Martin said that "all five principles of the CHA are broken in every province, everyday day", yet hospital ERs, like recently in Cambridge, Ont., resort to the private sector for doctors. And when stark medical reality supersedes Liberal ideology, the Liberals send patients to the U.S. for treatment which the Liberals are unable to provide in Ontario. So let's stop the "altars of greed" rhetoric, and move on to reform."

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