Monday, March 24, 2008

State-run monopoly health-care should be illegal

R. Bobak wrote in "Forced dependence on government health care is immoral and should be illegal", (St. Catharines Standard, Mar.24, 2008):

"Re: Doctors could have performed surgeries at other hospitals, Health Ministry says, The Standard, March 13.

Just three months ago, Ontario auditor Jim McCarter reported serious concerns regarding surgery wait times in Ontario's Liberal-run health system that included about 40 per cent of hospital operating rooms not being used during nine weeks in the summer of 2006.

He also said surgical facilities are frequently closed on weekends and during the Christmas holidays and March Break.

The report found the operating rooms were closed because of vacation staffing schedules.

The audit also showed that, despite government focus on surgical wait times, Ontario has no idea how many operating rooms the province has, nor does it have adequate information on how many patients are waiting for specific surgeries.

Astoundingly, during the October 2007 election campaign, the Liberals downplayed that there were any problems with their health monopoly! But now, during March Break 2008, we hear that some 190 Niagara patients had their elective surgeries cancelled.

Didn't the Liberal government know or heed any of the warnings contained in the auditor's report? Did the Liberals warn any of these patients that the availability of their health care was subject to previously-reported systemic risks within their government-run monopoly? Did the government bother to arrange alternative care for these patients?

Can't these patients collectively and justifiably launch a class-action lawsuit against the Ministry of Health, alleging that the government knew, or reasonably should have known, that it would not be able to deliver upon the health-care promises it makes?

Not only were these Niagara patients preyed upon by the Liberal's bait-and-switch routine (they were promised health-care, but were given a health-care waiting list), but they were also prohibited by the very same Liberal government from arranging for their own health care should the government monopoly fail to deliver - as it often does.

That kind of forced dependence is immoral, and should be illegal.

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