Friday, July 8, 2011

Time for a class-action C.difficile lawsuit against McGuinty's Liberals

It's amazing: St.Catharines Liberal MPP Jim Bradley unabashedly keeps prancing about Niagara, doling out pre-election cash here there and everywhere, with his weaselly mug popping up in staged photo-op after staged photo-op - yet, after an almost two-month long (since apparently May 12) and partially secret C.diff outbreak in his own city - nobody from the media has bothered to ask Jim Bradley about it!!
The unfathomable Jim Bradley ass-kissing from the Niagara media continues unabated.
Forget about the media not asking Jim Bradley when he first knew about his Liberal-created secret G20 law;  now, nobody's asking Jim Bradley when he first knew of the C. difficile outbreak in St.Catharines.
Did Bradley know about it when it was still being kept secret (from the public, as far back as May) by the NHS?
Why aren't Lafleche, Bolichowsy, Herod, Bergsma, Fraser, Downs, Williscraft, Zettel, etc... asking Good Ole Jimmy to explain himself, and his Liberal culpability in the mess in the NHS?
Where is the scrutiny over Jim Bradley's years of Liberal health care duplicity?
Why isn't anyone assessing the criminal liability of Bradley's Liberal government, connecting the dots between the secretive actions by Bradley's Liberals in 2008 (by refusing to allow a public inquiry into the already-then hundreds of Ontario C. diff.-patient-deaths) and the recurrence of the same scenario in Niagara, in 2011?
The incompetent Liberal health minister, monopolist George Smitherman, simply sloughed off having any kind of independent inquiry: Ontario's population - trapped in the Liberal's single-payer health-care monopoly - was simply told: 'Don't worry, just trust us... why, we've instituted reporting guidelines, so... everything's going to be fine, folks. Yep: Just trust us, and stop asking questions.'
That's what happened in 2008. A cowardly C. diff cover-up by McGuinty's Liberals.
Now, in Niagara in 2011, nobody seems to know exactly what those guidelines, which had so-vociferously been trumpeted by Smitherman, actually were, or are... the public WAS NOT warned that there was C. diff in the NHS - but, were they supposed to have been warned?
At what point was it still an un-reportable, in-hospital occurrence, but not yet an outbreak? One case; two cases?
Were Smitherman's 2008 C. diff reporting policies (the ones he made up to hide from an inquiry) actually understood and followed in Niagara in 2011?
Now Deb Matthews thinks they weren't...

[but, in this confusion,  you try to figure out where Deb Matthews stands on this: see her comments in this report from late June : "...Asked if the NHS was right in how they handled the disclosure of deaths, the minister said she needs to learn the details of what happened.
"I'd like to get more information on that specifically," Matthews said. "I can't comment on that right now."

and then see Deb Matthew's reaction when the NHS suddenly got rid of  their long-time spokesperson Christine Clark:

"...That information (shared with the public health department) was flowing extremely well. I think the issue is what did the public know," Matthews said. "I think we can do better.
"I'm delighted that they are now doing daily briefings, so that they are able to answer questions. We all know that information is what people need. And where there isn't information, sometimes we'll speculate. So I think that in the interests of public confidence, that we need to let the public in on what is happening so they know what's going on in their hospitals.]

... this signifies that Smitherman's original C.difficile policies [...and I repeat, once again: policies which Smitherman designed in 2008 to placate the public, to make it look like he was doing something (a typical Liberal tactic: offer 'appearance' over substance) while desperately trying to avoid any public C. diff inquiry...] were merely window-dressing, meant as a political diversion, allowing McGuinty's Liberals to kite some more time, to hide a little longer from any independent inquiry.
That's what Smitherman's Liberals - including Jim Bradley and Kim Craitor - did: these secretive cowards sloughed off a proper independent public inquiry in 2008, when hundreds of Ontario C. difficile patients had already been  killed; today's C. diff victims in Niagara are simply additional footnotes in the massive monopolist despotism that is McGuinty's negligent health-care ideology.
Why isn't anyone in the Niagara media comparing what Smitherman (hiding from a public C. diff inquiry) concocted in 2008 as a convenient smokescreen to show that his Liberals 'did something about it'; and how this very same scenario, using Smitherman's template, replayed itself in 2011 in Niagara?
Smitherman's pathetic 2008 rationalization, which he used to hide the Liberals from a public C. diff inquiry, can be seen in my previous July 6, 2011 post,  Why McGuinty's Liberals are guilty of C. difficile negligence.
During the 2008 Ontario C. difficile outbreak, the opposition was repeatedly shut down by McGuinty's secretive Liberals in its attempts to find answers:

"...When hundreds of people have died in hospitals and we know it's connected to C. difficile, we need to have an inquiry," said NDP Leader Howard Hampton.
"The government was warned several times about this - we saw what happened in Quebec - but the McGuinty government failed to act, and now we see the deaths of more than 100 people."
Conservative health critic Elizabeth Witmer agreed with Hampton that some deaths probably could have been prevented if the Liberal government had moved earlier to make it mandatory for hospitals to report outbreaks of C. difficile, a potentially deadly hospital-acquired infection.
"Certainly. They took steps in other provinces to make sure that mandatory reporting did take place, that there was a plan for outbreaks," Witmer said. "The question remains: How many people have needlessly died because this government refused to take action?"
But Smitherman and Premier Dalton McGuinty both said Monday that a coroner's inquest into a C. difficile outbreak in Sault Ste. Marie and other reports gave the government and health officials enough data on which to act, and that an inquiry is not needed..."

Now, it happens AGAIN, this time right in Niagara - and McGuinty's disgusting Liberals (and many of their media friends) continue to ignore the Liberals health-care lies, duplicity, and incompetence.

Here's Brian Lilley's Jul.8, 2011 column, "Public health care is killing people":

"There was a small protest of a few dozen people outside of the Greater Niagara General Hospital on Wednesday. What there really should be is outrage across the land.
The rally in Niagara Falls was sparked over the handling of a local outbreak of C. difficile, an antibiotic-resistant superbug linked to 16 deaths in the Niagara region since mid-May.
Part of the outrage in Niagara is over the fact hospital officials knew the superbug was in the hospital long before they told the public.
The outbreak started May 12 and the public was told June 23. ¬ e hospital kept the people they serve in the dark.
It’s much the same across Canada. There have been deadly outbreaks of C. difficile in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara and several other cities and towns.

Canadian hospitals have been dealing with this problem since 2002 but there has been very little public anger over these thousands of deaths.
Compare that to what happened in the tainted deli meat scare a few years ago.
When bad deli meat from a Maple Leaf Foods plant was linked to 57 people falling ill and 23 people dying from a listeriosis outbreak, the outrage was fast and furious.
Family members, doctors, politicians and the media demanded to know how this could have happened.
Investigations were launched, a class-action lawsuit was filed.
Maple Leaf issued an apology, pledged to do better, changed its practices and settled the lawsuit within a few months for $27 million.
Since then, there have been ongoing questions about our food inspection system and continuing calls for review.
Why not the same for C. difficile?
The history of this antibiotic- resistant infection shows most people get sick while in hospital.
The problem is a lack of cleanliness, either from doctors and nurses not washing their hands as they move from patient to patient, or cleaners not doing their jobs properly.
Ultimately, though, when this many people have been infected and died, the responsibility has to move higher.
Why are hospital boards and the provincial governments that fund the health care system not demanding higher standards?
Why is the media not turning this into the biggest story in the country the way some bad deli meat became THE story in the summer of 2008.
I think it is because to do so would require us to question the public health care system.
And to put things bluntly, most of our media would rather question the actions of a private company than the actions of a public institution like health care.
A friend told me the other day if we had the ability to sue hospitals the way that our American neighbours do, hospitals would be scared into cleaning up their act.
Except we do have the ability. Lawyer Gerry Chipeur appeared on my Sun News Network show Byline on Tuesday and said the same law that allowed the families of the deceased to sue Maple Leaf would allow people to sue our hospital system.
I say, given the failure of our politicians and health officials to fix the problem, a lawsuit, or several, just may be in order".
It is time to sue McGuinty's Ontario Liberal government.
These Liberal anti-patient-choice health-care monopolists should no longer be held harmless from the consequences of their despotic, secretive, iron-fisted statist single-payer ideology.

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