Bill Tieleman wrote in “Sound the alarm on the B.C. gov’t”, (24 Hours Vancouver website, Mar.25, 2008):
“It's time to put patient care first. To do that, we must renew public health care, through better management, adequate funding, proper staffing and sound strategic planning. - Premier Gordon Campbell, 2001 election platform
What a long, sad gap there is between the B.C. Liberals' lofty health-care goals of 2001 and the grim reality of March 12, 2008.
That's when Surrey Memorial Hospital declared a Code Orange alert, cancelling all non-emergency surgeries because of massive emergency room overcrowding, calling in off-duty doctors and keeping health-care workers on overtime.
Code Orange is extremely rare, reserved for emergencies with mass casualties, like earthquakes or floods. A Code Orange was declared last year when a small aircraft crashed into a Richmond highrise.
But not this time. It was because Surrey's congested hospital had 41 patients admitted in the ER and not one bed free. And it also happened in January.
Then there's Code Purple - an overcapacity alert just below Code Orange requiring other nearby hospitals to provide resources.
On March 10, Kelowna General Hospital issued a Code Purple because it already had 176 patients in the emergency ward instead of an average 140.
And there's New Westminster's Royal Columbian Hospital, where, on February 12, the fire inspector ordered the emergency room cleared due to overcrowding.
That was the day of B.C.'s throne speech, which promised the government "will act to improve health care" and mentioned the word "health" 84 different times.
So you just might think all these alerts would alarm B.C. Liberal Health Minister George Abbott. Wrong.
"Anyone who thinks that the problem is going to go away is dreaming," Abbott actually told reporters, saying patients would have to get used to it.
"A lot of this demand is driven by a society that gets older, year over year, and is going to continue to do so," Abbott said. "This is going to be challenging for about the next 40 years, until the post-World War II baby boomers make their way through [the health-care system]."
Challenging for 40 years? Is Abbott kidding? Why should patients put up with substandard health care for four decades?
The B.C. Liberals have had seven years to deal with health-care problems. In their 2001 election platform, they even said: "Emergency rooms are overflowing in B.C."
Overflowing? Now overflowing emergency rooms prompt alerts reserved for floods!
And what has the government done? Closed St. Mary's Hospital in New Westminster with no replacement. Failed to meet a 2001 promise of 5,000 new long-term care beds by 2006. Closed acute care beds, causing increased waiting lists for surgery.
We need a Code Orange alright - for an incompetent, uncaring B.C. Liberal government that needs to hear the alarm.”
Tieleman’s above article from British Columbia follows on my similar earlier posts from an Ontario perspective:
State-run monopoly health-care should be illegal (Mar.24, 2008)
Sadistic Liberal health-care in Ontario (Mar.19, 2008)
Liberal "health-card" doesn't equal "health-care". (Mar.14, 2008)
Ludicrous Liberal two-tier health-care (Mar.12, 2008)
Doing our best not be bruised by the velvet fist of socialized medicare (Mar.12, 2008)
Lofty Liberal government health-care promises yielding disastrous health-care… seems like a familiar pattern, a standard template, no matter where Liberals ply their trade: this could just as well be a story about Ontario’s Liberal-run health-system; the promises and the problems are the same.
My arrogant Ontario Liberal MPP, Jim Bradley (St. Catharines), refuses to answer when I ask about his health system’s continual failures. Why should Ontarians put up with his Liberal government’s sub-standard health-care for five years?
In 2003, Ontario Liberals yelped about costs and emergency rooms and wait times and emergency beds and ambulance services and long-term beds and nursing shortages and on and on: yet Ontario’s system has not become better after five years of Liberal health monopoly rule. The 2003 Ontario election was filled with false Liberal health-care and environmental promises!! In the 2007 election, they said little about their broken health-care and environmental promises.
I can envision Ontario’s Liberal Health Minister George Smitherman saying the same things along the line of B.C.’s Abbott: Yep, folks:
'the problem with health-care is YOU people - you’re getting older!! So, just stop it, you baby-boomer cohort of millions, from whom we’ve been collecting health taxes for years!! What did you people expect from us, anyhow – actual health-care when you got older and really needed it?! C’mon: we have no contract with you…we run a socio-economic experimental health monopoly…and by the way, we’re not directly accountable or held liable for the health-care promises which you mistakenly assumed we might have appeared to have made! We deal in political medicare ideology, not health-care delivery! We report to Tommy Douglas, not to actual patients!'
These Liberals are UN-FLICKING real; they’ve taken our money for health-care promises which they never intended to really keep, did they?
We need a Code Orange Alert in Ontario as well – for an incompetent, arrogant, and deceptive Ontario government practising Liberal health care duplicity.