Dear Mr. Bradley,
This letter is in regards to the recently reported (Windsor Star, Nov.21, 2007) incident in Windsor, Ontario, where heart attack patient Rick Laporte was sent by your Liberal, provincially-run healthcare monopoly to the United States for emergency surgery.
The ambulance transporting this patient reportedly was held up for 3 minutes at the U.S. border.
Do you as Ontario’s Minister of Transportation find this delay at the border, of an Ontario medical patient, to be unacceptable?
Do you have any comments on this incident? Will you be taking any action to prevent future similar recurrences? Will you designate a special healthcare-only lane for Canadians waiting at the border similar to Nexus, perhaps calling it the ‘sicko’ lane?
Do you find it completely unacceptable that an Ontarian had to suffer and be placed at possible risk because of the fact that this patient had no other choice offered by your medicare monopoly but to be forced to the U.S. for treatment?
Are the U.S. border services now responsible for expediting the waiting-lists of your Liberal government’s failed healthcare policies? Was this the intended "future" you envisioned for Ontario patients as a consequence of your authoritarian 2004 "Committment To The Future Of Medicare" act ?
Do you concede that your government policies are solely to blame for such instances of Ontario patients being shuffled off to Buffalo and beyond because your Liberal single-payer, so-called ‘universal’ healthcare ideology cannot deliver promised, timely medical services at home?
Why is your Liberal government’s disturbing new growth industry consist of exporting ill Ontario patients to the States for treatment?
Why is your Liberal government essentially practicing rendition by forcing ill Ontarians to obtain healthcare treatment in a system which would be illegal, and would be outlawed by your Liberal government, if it were in Ontario?
Ontario’s Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty proudly campaigned that he stood against the Americanization of our health system! (Globe and Mail, Sept.26, 2003)
Mr. Bradley, you supported Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman’s ridiculous campaign to defend the Canadian border from evil American diagnostic providers, like Cleveland’s Life Line Screening (St. Catharines Standard, Sept.24, 2004). You supported this health minister’s demagogic rant when he wanted to “deputize” 12 million Ontarians to help “stamp” out the invading Americans; when he hysterically boasted: "I'll meet them at the border or confront them where they are".
But was Smitherman there to help Laporte across the border to access American healthcare? Life Line Screening had proposed to provide portable ultrasound screening clinics to detect vascular problems which could lead to coronary problems…something that Laporte might have benefited from, had not Liberals such as yourself and George Smitherman personally made sure it was not offered, for political reasons, to the citizens of Ontario.
In opposition, in lock-step with your leader McGuinty (St. Catharines Standard, Apr.21, 2001), you sneered that possible reforms to our healthcare status-quo would lead us to the dreaded boogeyman of a two-tier, U.S.-style healthcare system…in other words, the kind of system that you send ill Ontarians to now.
I would like to thank Americans for their assistance offered to all Canadians who have sought and received care in the States. I apologize for boorish Canadian left-wing politicians who chauvinistically disparage the American system which helps us so often.
Mr. Bradley, have you publicly thanked the Americans for their support and assistance in providing care to Ontario patients, who were forced by your Liberals to leave the country for treatment?
Do you not consider it odd, or plainly hypocritical, for your Liberals to demonize the same American system which acts as the safety-valve for your ideological health system’s failures? It’s politically convenient to have the American capacity available next door to cover universal medicare’s systemic failures, isn’t it?
Do you share the rationalization that sending ill Ontarians to the States for treatment is testimony that ‘medicare works’? Is it an underlying policy of your Liberal government to rely upon the American healthcare system to ameliorate universal medicare’s shortcomings? Does your sorely-mismanaged idea of medicare now consist of simply paying whatever it costs to send patients wherever it takes to obtain the same healthcare which your Liberals have deemed to be illegal, and therefore outlawed, here at home?
Does your Liberal government keep any statistics detailing how many Ontarians have been forced to the States to obtain treatment which is unavailable here, due to the inequities of your medicare monopoly? Or, does your Liberal government simply deem such incidents to be merely anecdotal anomalies; minor, expected but irrelevant blow-back, in your grand scheme that is ‘Medicare’?
Columnist Terence Corcoran’s story, “Bordering on the ridiculous” (National Post, Nov.24, 2007) notes that “over a year, an average 150 ambulances loaded with Canadians in need of treatment are shipped from Windsor to Detroit. It’s routine.”
Can your government, Mr. Bradley, confirm or dispute the claim that in Windsor alone an average of three patients a week are being exported by your health monopoly to the States for treatment? Is this an acceptable routine for your Liberal government?
What is the cost of this Liberal treatment-by-export health-care rendition policy, not only to the province (which McGuinty admits already spends 50% of its entire budget on healthcare), but also to Ontario patients in terms of potential peril, suffering and inconvenience?
Why should patients suffer by having to wait at the U.S.border for medical treatment, Mr. Bradley? Why should we be waiting in Ontario at all - with no options available to us - in the first place?
Forget the existential aspects in Waiting for Godot; Waiting for Smitherman is truly our healthcare horror nightmare.
Mr. Bradley, is it not your Liberal, statist, single-payer health ideology that caused patient Laporte, and many others, to be in ambulances speeding through the Detroit tunnel, away from Canada, to the States for healthcare?
How many other ill Ontarians are also leaving Ontario at other border crossings, such as in Niagara?
"One is always very cautious about a company coming into Ontario and preying on the vulnerable," you said with the utmost paternalism in the St. Catharines Standard regarding Life Line. "The government is moving to stop this."
Yet, you and your government have no problem sending our sick and vulnerable to the States for treatment that you proudly cannot provide to your own citizens?
Why is your government not “moving to stop” your own Liberal Healthcare Duplicity?