Canada

Deaf politicians ignore medical realities

Canada’s healthcare system continues to collapse at catastrophic levels, failing Canadian patients.
Systemic and staffing problems are overwhelming health care delivery, and people are dying without adequate care. Daily news reports report the most egregious dysfunctions as patients seek help and instead find themselves in a chaotic system that cannot guarantee basic medical care.
Patients, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers all recognize that universal health care is failing. Frankly, the only people who do not understand that the system is at stake are the deaf politicians who control Canada’s health care and how it is delivered.

how bad

One million people in British Columbia cannot find a family doctor. A desperate woman placed an ad in a Victorian newspaper offering to pay a “reasonable fee” to a doctor “to renew her 82-year-old husband’s prescription.” Months later he was unable to renew his prescription and could not find a family doctor.
In Alberta, a man had to stay with his dying father for three days in the High River emergency department because there were no beds. However, the hospital and its staff were overwhelmed. He told reporters, “We’ve been here for three days and there’s no bed available, no one to see him, no one to be there…I’m alone.”

How deaf are our politicians to these events?

British Columbia Prime Minister John Horgan joked about a doctor’s ad put out by a desperate woman, and perhaps he followed suit by “advertising in the newspapers” to improve healthcare with federal attention. Most notably, he did not take responsibility for the severe shortage of doctors that had plagued BC Healthcare for several years under his leadership, nor did he offer assistance to couples in need. It didn’t happen.
The Alberta government, which is equally deaf, is giving the state’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. I’m snorting at the medical workers.
To put this in perspective, $228,000 could have provided 5,000 hours of care at a moderate cost of $45 per hour. It could also have covered 19 joint replacement surgeries at a rate of $12,000 per surgery. Meanwhile, an Alberta doctor he hasn’t had a contract with since 2020, and a provincial nurse asked to take her 3% pay cut during pandemic negotiations.
On the federal front, cynicism reigns. Jagmeet Singh, leader of the NDP and a cheerleader for Universal Health in his care, may be the most deafening politician of all. Despite daily news stories revealing the need to reorganize and change the system, he urged liberal governments to set aside $5.3 billion to clean children’s teeth every six months. (Although Statistics Canada says two-thirds of Canadians already have private dental insurance). .
His request doesn’t necessarily mean that Singh is particularly interested in helping children, improving health care, or doing what’s best for Canadians. does not have the funds to carry out a dental plan. Nor does it make sense to add more government bureaucracy to an already dysfunctional healthcare bureaucracy. Instead, he puts politics first by forcing Trudeau to commit another $5.3 billion to a health care dump fire and execute a Faustian deal.
Emergency departments are closed, hospital beds are understaffed, staffing is rampant, healthcare workers are burnt out, and patients are dying for lack of basic medical care. But political benefits trump the reality of fixing healthcare.
Susan Martinuk is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Center for Public Policy and author of Patients at Risk: Exposing Canada’s Health-Care Crisis.

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Deaf politicians ignore medical realities

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