Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Don't forget to blame Bradley for health-care mess

Regarding the St Catharines Standard’s editorial of June 14, 2008, titled “Offload delays are still a concern”, the Standard wrote that ambulances are forced to wait, while patients have no place to go, in the St. Catharines hospital ER. The situation was made worse by the first local heat wave of the year, Jun. 7-9.

This situation is a very real danger to everyone in the city, because first, there are fewer ambulances available for other calls, and second, once (or if!) you do get to the ER, you might have to wait days for a bed.

The Standard wrote that health minister George Smitherman “allowed this issue to fester during his entire first term, and has made little more than token gestures since.”

True - but was Smitherman the only government official responsible for this real health-care mess here in St. Catharines?

Yet: what exactly was St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley’s role in this desperate situation??!

What did Bradley do for the last five years? No one really knows! The editorial certainly doesn't tell us!

This is all happening under Jim Bradley’s nose, yet the Standard's editorial doesn’t even mention a word about Bradley and HIS “token gestures”!

Let’s not somehow pretend Smitherman was the only fall guy – this is entirely a Liberal, majority-government, systemic problem. (See: "Liberal Healthcare Duplicity, An Ontario Overview 2003-2007 " for full story)

A smug Jim Bradley, in opposition, got a lot of mileage blustering about the supposedly-nefarious health system under Mike Harris, yet Bradley’s Liberal health monopoly is worse by far.

As a Liberal cabinet minister, Bradley was - AND STILL IS - as equally culpable for the situation in his own city’s hospital as is Smitherman.

If we take the tact that ‘it’s all solely Smitherman’s incompetent doing’, we are left with a problem: Smitherman has been shuffled out of the health portfolio on Jun.20, 2008. Are we to believe that because the designated bad guy health-minister is now gone, MPP Bradley somehow remains aloof and unconnected to all this?!

What will the Standard have to do now, rewrite their health-care editorials that mention Smitherman (but not Bradley), and rerun them with new health-minister David Caplan's name?

Do we have to now rehash all the same old stuff again and again so as bring the new minister up to speed on Niagara’s health-care problems?

How long will that learning curve take?

Already we've seen that Caplan is stonewalling the Ombudsman to prevent any independent oversight into the machinations of the Liberal's secretive health sector. And where does Bradley stand on expanding the Ombudsman's investigative power into the health-sector - again, no one knows!! What's Jim Bradley got to hide?

Bradley’s job - and it's been a piss-poor one - is to represent St. Catharines, no matter which new ministers come along.

If Smitherman failed, then Bradley failed even more. Bradley's no innocent bystander.

So now we start the game all over again:

"Oh ... so you're building a new hospital down there ... Really?! What's this about some kind of 'review of the reviews' at the old hospital, anyway?? I heard from Smitherman they're spending like "drunken sailors" down there ... what, they need more money?? But..? Say, who was Suzanne Aucoin, anyway? ... You had coupla hundred surgery cancellations...what?! When?! The St. Catharines hospital has the third-highest patient mortality rate in Canada ... say what? Since when? You're kidding, right? Say you're kidding me . . . yeah, yeah, yeah, we don't need no ombudsman sticking his face where we don't need'm ..."

Bloody frightening.

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