Friday, August 1, 2008

Possible beginnings of a health-care mutiny in Niagara?

Derek Swartz wrote in “Alternatives to NHS plan eyed by Port Colborne, Wainfleet” (St. Catharines Standard, Aug.1, 2008):

“If Niagara Health System wants to cut back emergency room services in Port Colborne, it is time for the city to consider setting up a different hospital corporation, the mayor says.

Vance Badawey said the city is serious about helping form a new hospital corporation to operate the hospital, and it is looking for allies.

The newly formed Port Colborne- Wainfleet Health Care Services task force met Tuesday evening to start formulating a response to the NHS hospital improvement plan.

Wainfleet Mayor Barb Henderson sits on the committee, which has contacted Fort Erie, whose hospital is also facing the scaling down of its emergency department.

Part of that response will be to make the case that around-the-clock emergency services must remain in the hospital, even if thatmeans the hospital is no longer part of the NHS.

Badawey believes the Port Colborne General Hospital could break away.

"Some people might think it's unrealistic, but it is realistic in light of their own recommendations," he said.

The NHS plan states many of Port Colborne's health-care needs can be handled by establishing community health centres, walk-in clinics, improved transportation and educating city residents.
None of those services are administered by the NHS, the mayor points out.

"We understand change occurs from the Ministry (of Health) on down. We understand things can be done better, but we'll be damned if it's at the expense of Port Colborne and Wainfleet.... At the end of the day if (the NHS) can't do it, we'll do it ourselves," Badawey said Thursday.

Henderson joined the committee because of the potential impact on Wainfleet residents.

"I am pleased to be a part of a task force whose intent is to defend the level of health care that our residents are justifiably entitled to. We expect the same level of care and service as the residents of north Niagara," Henderson stated in a news release.

There is not much evidence in the report, though, that the NHS consulted with physicians in Port Colborne, Badawey said.

Port Colborne General's emergency department sees more than 25,000 visitors a year, and in the summer --with cottagers in Sherkston and in Wainfleet -- it serves a population that rivals Welland's, Badawey said.

The NHS plan will go to the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network later this summer. Port Colborne's committee will develop a counterproposal for the LHIN to consider, Badawey said.

The committee's next steps include hiring an experienced consultant to help draft a response to the NHS report and exploring a co-ordinated response with Fort Erie.”

What an interesting reaction by these Niagara mayors to Dalton McGuinty’s authoritarian health care monopoly, which is proposing cutting services almost everywhere in Niagara but St. Catharines, ostensibly to ' save money'.

What a sad legacy Liberal MPP Jim Bradley’s years of blustery adherence to single-tier medicare has brought; such divisiveness and callousness that cities in Niagara are considering opting out of the Niagara Health System!! Yep, let’s not forget this Liberal health care duplicity is all happening under Jim Bradley’s own government.

We’ve seen that Jim Bradley’s assurances a year ago to Port Colborne were worth less than a pile of crap. ( see: Meaningless assurances from Jim Bradley)

Jim Bradley, a senior minister with McGuinty’s government was looked upon by certain believers as some kind of guarantee that Niagarans had an ‘in’ with the Queen’s Park Liberal inner-circle; that somehow appealing to Bradley would yield results.

But, like on so many issues, Stealth Minister Bradley has vanished on this controversial health care issue right in his own backyard.

It’s as if Good Ole Jimmy had, and has, nothing to do with any of this!!
No quotes at all in any of the papers pressing Jim Bradley to explain his government monopoly’s actions. Where did Jimmy disappear to?

Badawey’s comments are extremely interesting – it is as close to mutiny that any politician in Niagara has dared go to challenge the authoritarianism that is imposed by adhering to a single-payer, government-run health-care monopoly.

Badawey (a Liberal) was lulled and duped by his Liberal colleagues George Smitherman and Bradley before; hopefully this firebrand mayor will now put McGuinty and new health-czar Caplan on the defensive.

"At the end of the day if (the NHS) can't do it, we'll do it ourselves", said Badawey: very brave words. Liberal Badawey has obviously recognized the harsh impositions and limitations of trusting that only the Ontario Liberal government will always offer you its teat. Can a constitutional challenge not be lurking in the background here?

And why not openly challenge the Ministry of Health to sue Southern Niagara communities for considering alternatives, like possibly pursuing a medicare-free zone in the region?

I touched upon this kind of rebellion back in Nov. 2007, (see: Time for Ontario towns to declare themselves a medicare-free zone.)

The drawback of simply moving from the purview of one currently failing LHIN, to another LHIN within the same system, only postpones and ignores that it is the spectre of monopoly-medicine, doled out by government, which is the underlying problem.

The challenge for Badawey and the other mayors and councillors is to demonstrate the utter disregard that McGuinty’s Liberals have shown the southern Niagara tier, and also to demonstrate that when they talk about “alternatives”, that they seriously mean real ALTERNATIVES – not simply repositioning the same old problematic monopoly in a different way.

We should be seeking a healthy private-parallel health system – not a Liberal health-care monopoly/dictatorship.

Badawey is in an incredible position to renounce his Liberal’s asinine monopoly for the failure and charade that it is. (...update: by 2013 we have unfortunately seen that Badawey's idea of some kind of "break-away" was a bust; it was just plain ole diversionary Liberal Bullsh!t. Badawey was all bluster and no bite. Badawey's attachment to McGuinty-style Liberalism superseded him making any real changes to monopoly health care in Niagara. Being a stalwart Liberal, Badawey, in the end, did nothing but blow hot air and toe McGuinty's statist anti-patient-choice single-payer line. Showing his disgusting allegiance to the Liberals, not only had Vance Badawey run for McGuinty's Ontario Liberals in 2003, Badawey also announced in Jan. 2015 that he would be seeking to run for Justin Turdeau's federal Liberals, as well.)

Really, at the heart of all this, is that this is simply another aspect of what brought about and led to the famous Chaoulli decision in Quebec, the implications of which were simply ignored by McGuinty’s Ontario Liberals.

This is simply another aspect of what the McCreith/ Holmes constitutional health care challenge now in the courts against McGuinty’s health monopoly is all about.

Now, Jim Bradley’s bait-and-switch tactic (see: Liberal Healthcare Duplicity) has found another victim by targeting southern Niagara.

Don’t roll over, Niagara.

Don’t let Liberals such as Jim Bradley and Kim Craitor (...and, Vance Badawey) or their bureaucratic sycophants, deceive you any longer.

Sanctimonious Grits were the first to whine and fear-monger about health-care when in opposition; now when their own monopolist policies fail in their own ridings, these flicking pathetic Liberals are nowhere to be found.

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