Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Time to debunk Liberal health-care myths

The St. Catharines Standard ran a three-part health-care series "Code Gridlock" about Niagara’s health system, written by Peter Downs: Jan.10, 2009, “The current state of Emergency”; Jan.12, 2009, “Frustration in the ER”; Jan.13, 2009, “Solving the patient logjam”.

Not once in this three-part series was local Liberal MPP Jim Bradley mentioned. No comments, no quotes, nothing.

'Flicking' unbelievable.

Good Ole Jimbo Bradley, the Liberal politician in Niagara most responsible for the health-care mess, once again, gets another free ride.

There was nothing new in this latest Standard series – it was frustrating to read this rehash of the same old Liberal crap, and the same old phony Liberal “solutions” being trotted out, not to mention oh how much money the Liberals graciously spent on our behalf, bless them...oh, c'mon!!

Compare the information supplied in this latest series to, for example, this article in the St. Catharines Standard from Sept.19, 2007, headed “The symptoms say health care is ailing”:

“The projection of a significant deficit for the Niagara Health System is a nice illustration to accompany a damning report on health-care spending in the belt around Toronto.

On Monday evening, NHS officials revealed the hospital operation expects to run a $13 million deficit this fiscal year, due largely to a shortage of nurses and a dire lack of hospital bed space.

Tuesday, a report commissioned by agencies in the rapidly growing communities surrounding Toronto found social and health-care services in the so-called 905 are insufficient to deal with the population and demographics of the area.

Niagara may not have the rapid growth of a Halton or Peel region, but it does have unique demographics that stress health-care services.

According to the latest census, Niagara has more seniors than any other community in the 905, with nearly 18 per cent of local residents over 65, and 7.5 per cent older than 75.

The report by PricewaterhouseCoopers specifically states "community characteristics" should be taken into account along with population growth.

This means the provincial government hasn't been properly taking into account new population growth or the fact that an older population will put more demand on health and social services when it funds hospitals in the 905 areas.

The gap in what the 905 needs in health-care spending and what it receives is estimated at nearly $1 billion.

The projected NHS deficit is a perfect example, and highlights where the provincial government has been falling short in its health-care strategy.

The reasons for the deficit projection reveal how complex health-care services are, and how different facets of health care are intricately related - specifically, the space crunch for hospital beds.

It's estimated that 39 per cent of the beds at NHS hospitals are occupied by patients awaiting space in a long-term care home.

That has a ripple effect across the system, driving up costs to care for these patients while putting added pressure on emergency rooms and increasing waiting lists.

The nursing shortage is a provincewide problem that could reach crisis levels soon.

In Niagara, it has meant 76,699 hours of overtime, already exceeding the annual target by 13,000 hours.

Put together, the report and the deficit don't paint a pretty picture of our vaunted public health-care system and do a lot to debunk government claims that the system is improving.

A shortage of beds in nursing homes creating a backlog in understaffed hospitals and driving up costs and wait times is not a symptom of a healthy, efficient system.”


The same problems and the same ‘solutions’ were identified a long time ago; yet a provincial election came and went where everyone conveniently pretended that there was nothing wrong with Liberal-controlled health care.

You would expect the local press would be able to bring this dichotomy to the local MPP’s attention. You’d hope that the local press would debunk the myths of how Liberals have ‘improved’ their health monopoly.

This 'bed-shortage-causing-backups' story isn’t new, for cryin’ out loud!

What’s astounding is the utter lack of credibility that this hypocritical Ontario Liberal government has shown, and the easy ride that Liberal mouth-bags like health-care monopolist Jim Bradley get from the press. No questions – no problem!! Blame Harris!!

Back on Sept.30, 2006, the St. Catharines Standard reported Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty himself saying that more beds were not in the cards!! Yet Good Ole Jimbo Bradley is immune from accountability, explanation, or responsibility. In opposition, an indignant Jimmy spouted off about health care practically on a daily basis. Now, when it’s time for Jimmy to explain five years of his Liberal health-care monopoly failings…well, Good Ole Jimmy’s done been gone into that thar ole Cone of Silence!!

The Standard’s Jan.13, 2009 story “Solving the patient logjam” proffered this solution in its headline: “The key is freeing up hospital beds occupied by people waiting for long-term care”. (Hmm...really?! You don’t say!!)

But there is another fundamental key: getting rid of monopolistic Liberal health-care parasites like Dalton McGuinty, David Caplan, and Jim Bradley.

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