The Sarnia Observer wrote this editorial, “Hospital funding needs checkup”, (Aug.14, 2008):
“It's not every day that we agree with Mike Bradley. But the Sarnia mayor was right on the mark when he said a critical bed alert issued by London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) last week was a "huge step backwards."
LHSC sent surrounding hospitals -- including Bluewater Health -- a letter urging them not to send critically ill patients there unless they are near death.
LHSC notified area hospitals they were closed to all regional referrals with the exception of regional trauma, renal and stroke care. Cancer and cardiac patients would also be accepted and prioritized on an urgency basis.
Bradley wisely sounded the alarm, expressing concern the lives of patients are being put at risk.
Of course LHSC is not to blame for this. It cannot accept patients if it doesn't have any room for them.
The real problem is that the Ontario government is not spending enough on health care.
Bradley is right when he says the lack of adequate funding for provincial hospitals is putting people's health at risk at a time when they are paying higher taxes specifically aimed at improving care.
As he noted, "The whole point of the London Health Sciences Centre being a tertiary centre is to deal with the seriously ill patients who cannot receive the assistance they need as well by smaller hospitals who are not set up to deal with them."
The time is coming soon when Queen's Park is going to have to make some hard decisions about what it can and can't afford to pay for. It's going to have to eliminate entire ministries (such as the Ministry of Culture) and start funnelling more money into health care. Otherwise, there isn't going to be enough to take care of aging baby boomers.”
We know what Mike Bradley is saying in Sarnia.
But what’s MPP Jim Bradley saying in St. Catharines?
“The real problem is that the Ontario government is not spending enough on health care,” writes the Observer.
Say what?? McGuinty - after raking in some $12 billion with his Health Tax since 2004, IS NOT SPENDING ENOUGH?!
But St. Catharines Liberal Minister Jim Bradley has said that healthcare funding is not a problem in Niagara! Former health minister Smitherman even hinted that the Niagara Health System was spending money in a ‘free for all’! Liberals denied there was any link between their funding model and their government-run health-monopoly’s problems. They ran their last election pretending that health care in Ontario was fine!
Now we see London’s hospital is warning other smaller local hospitals “NOT TO SEND CRITICALLY ILL PATIENTS TO THEM unless they are near death”!! Unbelievable.
What are these Liberals doing, for God’s sake?
Where else are these patients to go, then ??!
Can – or will – Jim Bradley's government answer that question?
Is this what is in store here in Niagara (see: Possible beginnings of a health-care mutiny in Niagara? ) once Jimmy’s monopoly consolidates its facilities? (‘We’re sorry – the only choice hospital in St. Catharines is now full. Please try again later. Vote Liberal! Have a nice day.’)
We know that the Sarnia/Windsor area regularly exports Ontario patients to the U.S. for treatment, (see: Allow U.S. hospitals to open Canadian branches) as is also happening in Niagara. Sarnia's Bradley notes that (as in Niagara), their smaller local hospitals are not set up to deal with tertiary care needs.
Yet Jim Bradley’s Liberals have run all of Ontario’s hospitals for five years - so who’s responsible for this? As I asked in a previous post (see: Pressing hard, or hardly pressing, for more Niagara long-term care beds), what’s Jim Bradley done about new beds in Niagara?
“The time is coming soon when Queen's Park is going to have to make some hard decisions about what it can and can't afford to pay for,” the Observer wrote.
What’s health-care monopolist Jim Bradley, or his Liberal government, got to say about that?
How much longer until the Liberal's single-payer health-care-monopoly house-of-cards collapses?