Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Health care is not McGuinty's priority in Niagara

Here’s a backgrounder from the Conservative 2007 campaign regarding health care:

“-Dalton McGuinty promised to hire 8,000 new nurses. He's hired only 5,400. More than 1,500 of them are in temporarypositions. And he spent $91 million to fire nearly 1,000 nurses. Now it's 2007 and, notwithstanding the fact that his original promise is short by thousands of nurses, Dalton McGuinty's new platform is promising to hire 9,000 more nurses.

- Dalton McGuinty promised to make sure that people got the health care the need when they need it, where they need it. In 2003, they said there were nearly one million Ontarians without a family doctor. Four years later there are still one million Ontarians without a family doctor. The number of areas designated as underserviced for family doctors was 122 in 2003. The number of areas designated as underserviced for family doctors is 142 in 2007. The percentage of doctors accepting new patients was 20.2 percent in 2003. The percentage of doctors accepting new patients was 9.6 percent in 2006.

- Dalton McGuinty promised standards for medically acceptable wait times. And he promised a wait times website that was "up-to-date" and "accurate." Ontarians are waiting nearly two months longer for hip replacements than is medically acceptable. Five months longer for knee replacements. Three months longer for MRIs. One month longer for CT scans. And in some areas, the wait is much longer - like in Kingston where the wait time is 727 days for a knee replacement.

- When Dalton McGuinty spent $2 million on an advertising campaign for the wait times website, Advertising Standards Canada said the ads were misleading. Mr. McGuinty was forced to pull the ads.

- Dalton McGuinty promised to "unclog ERs." Under his leadership, wait times in Ontario's emergency rooms have gone up - and Dalton McGuinty and his Minister of Health, George Smitherman have consistently and repeatedly rejected any and all attempts to have emergency rooms included in the wait times program.”

The above was true prior to the election, and is still true now, in January 2008.

We’ve seen, since the Liberal’s re-election, that they had to impose a superintendent at their newly built Brampton hospital, which was rife with transition problems, and where there were two more alleged patient wait-time related deaths.

We’ve seen the Niagara Health System revealed as having the third highest mortality rate in Canada, yet the Liberals refused to call in the Ombudsman to investigate this situation. When the NHS (the Liberal–funded health monopoly) said they needed more money, (see St. Catharines Standard, Dec.7, 2007) the flippant Liberal recommendation was that the NHS should simply cease their spending free-for-all, as George Smitherman, the authoritarian Health minister put it.

Keep in mind that the health minister of Ontario is saying this to a hospital in his government-run monopoly, where there is nowhere else for a patient to go to in Ontario, unless it's to Buffalo. (But please, again, do not tell Michael Moore how great Ontario's government-run monopoly health system is!)

Jim Bradley, the Liberal Lord Of Niagara, has said nothing at all (since the CIHI report was released at the end of Nov. 07) of the untenable situation at the NHS, which is right in his own backyard. The Liberals cooked up a red-herring scheme to placate the locals saying there was a possibility that they might review the organizational structure of the Niagara Health System, but would not investigate the underlying causes of the system’s high mortality rates.

Dalton McGuinty, the Liberal Premier, was just recently the guest editorial-page writer in the St. Catharines Standard (Jan.19, 2008) where, in an entire column (titled: “Our future lies in skills and education”), NOT ONCE did McGuinty mention the phrase “Health Care” .

You voted for the Liberals in Niagara…now your Liberals are telling you to FLICK OFF and die. Are you concerned about health care in Niagara? Well, it’s such a high Liberal ‘priority’, that it’s not worth mentioning

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