--> Getting It Right: Excuse me, I need a phone booth...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Excuse me, I need a phone booth...

This week the premier is in Europe saving public health-care.

Despite what you hear from the HEU, the NDP and others, the BC Liberal government isn’t hell-bent on destroying your access to health services.

The visits to Norway, Sweden, France and England are aimed to study what these countries are doing right in their public systems and what we can learn from them.

By the way, all of these nations rank above us by the World Health Organization. They are giving their citizens better health care – publicly-funded health care – in a more sustainable fashion.

And, horrors, they all have some private involvement in health care. The government pays, the private-sector delivers.

Carole James’ well-considered answer to our unsustainable health care system is for the Premier to visit BC hospitals.

That would be fine if he wants to check in on the $3.8 billion of additional funding his government has put into the current system, including the $1.5 billion this year alone. Or meet some of new doubled number of medical school graduates or the 6500 new nurses ready for patient care in 2006.

The health vested interests aren’t interested in seeing you and me get better health care. They are focused on their own agendas.

Which is a shame because when 44% of the tax dollars collected goes to health care, and that percentage increases each decade, sooner or later we’re going to hit a wall.

Which begs the question: why are the NDP so afraid to examine other options?

Would they prefer we continue with the unsustainable system we have so that one day it breaks down in a big colossal mess?

The NDP know perfectly well that our nurses and doctors and health care professionals are pushed each day to provide excellent patient care in an environment with never enough resources. Regardless if the government ramps up spending by $1 billion or $2 billion or $3 billion, there is never enough money.

Learning from other countries and jurisdictions which have found innovative solutions to their unsustainable systems is one really good way to go.

Another is the series of public consultations that will be scheduled over the coming year. These will ask what is important to you in our public system.

As Gordon Campbell said from Sweden, “British Columbians should understand that while we have the best health care system in Canada, Canada does not, in spite of all the things we say, have the best health care in the world."

Them’s fighting words in this country.

But kudos to a Premier willing to stand up and challenge us to create a better, stronger, longer-lasting public health care system.

(As seen today in 24 Hours Daily)

12 Comments:

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must like being a propaganda machine for the BC Liberal government and the Christian right-wing.
You ever think about being more open-minded, you erin airhead?

 
At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find you to be pathetic, narrow-minded, and wrong. Obviously, you come from privilege and don't know what it's like for others to live their lives.

Get a life!

 
At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Ian Egloff said...

Erin,
have you ever lived in, or seen TV commercials from, Australia where Private health care & Public health care are both "equal". A very similar culture to our own.

If you need surgery you pay!

Only the poor and the stupid rely on the public system to maintain their health.

There are commercials on TV that out right state you will not stand a chance if you don't have private health care insurance.

The notion that the private system will operate as an over flow is absurd.

It becomes in the best interest of the private sector to ensure that the public system is of a lower or evern hazardous standard.

The private sector saps knowledge and reasources from the public system & cherry picks for profit.

Private health care for profit is not the way.

Thanks
Ian Elgoff

ps sorry about the spelling errors.

 
At 9:05 AM, Blogger Erin Airton said...

Clearly this discussion about what public health needs to look like to be sustainable has struck a nerve.

That's not a bad thing.

Please feel free to come back and discuss the issues when you are feeling a bit better.

Sometimes in the heat of the moment we all get carried away - it has certainly happened to me.

But I hope that we all care enough about building the best society possible - and one that helps those that need our help - that we can discuss our points of view without resorting to personal attacks. Even if we disagree.

Which we probably will :)

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outstanding article. Why should we be afraid to emulate the success of other countries? If it works, DO IT!

Keep up the good work.

(Oh, but I have to say... it should be "seeing you and *me* get better health care" in para. 8. Shame on the editor!)

 
At 3:26 AM, Anonymous Larry said...

NDP-regarding health care don't want other options because their big government and government they want to run all. Often the majority don't agree with the far left,so they the far left force their issues through by way of government legislation.Of course having both public and private health care would be a improvement for the general public from only public health care.Many left-wing government employees and their powerful unions don't want nor like the competition of anything private even if it's better for society.{The left doing the name calling is due to the fact they can't win the discussions,the left-wingers constantly do this when their not preaching their fake tollerance ideology}.

 
At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your comments interesting however as a public servant we're more than just #s' in a hospital. You should visit www.bcgeu.ca to gain a a better perspective on the issue of Medicare and the work we do. First off most of us are hard working caring people, however, I can't say that about our politicans otherwise they'd be talking to us instead of a junket to Europe, and, give me a break the UK which Thatcher did a hatchet job on in the 80s'.

What makes things difficult is that Health Care is a basic human and civil right. I help the mentally ill who come into conflict with the law....would you suggest that we get rid of the agencies which service this population....including the courts. While we're at it lets get rid of all unionised public servants from ambulance drivers to the unpaid volunteers looking after your parents or family friends at the 411 seniors centre and elsewhere. I also help raise 1000s' of $ for cancer and others. This offsets the Pulic Service cost to you the taxpayer. What about our ambulance drivers, firemen and police, are they next.

If you want to save money.....overseas isn't the answer.

By the way in conclusion under the NDP we only rec. 2% over a decade, and, now they want to railroad us back to 80s levels because I guess we're greedy, and, compared to what, their recent and attempted pay hikes which even the NDP agreed to....ther's another arguement out the window.

You need to be better informed.....Cheers.

 
At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erin,

Thank you for an informative article. I found it to be a good read, and I like that your own bias for the Conservatives doesn't intrude here.

With the problems we have with public healthcare, we really can learn a lot from other countries who are more successful with public health. In no way do I support private health care, but I do feel our current system certainly needs improvements.

Thank you again
Angela

 
At 5:13 AM, Anonymous Larry said...

NOTE-Again by having both private and public health care, this keeps the money in Canada plus less of a burden on the public health care system and quicker service for the public too. I have two relatives who are RN's, their not over loaded with work in the public system. Nevertheless logic rather than left ideology informs it's better for the general public and employees to have both private and public health care systems.

 
At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Larry said...

Note: Every person has biases, this does not been it's wrong if the biase is correct or better than the other peoples biases. Upon visiting a realative at Saint Pauls hospital a nurse had her dog inside the hospital just outside the patients room-ah the public health system. The union will protect her.

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger Bill S. said...

Its funny how the left likes to pretend that medical is being "wiped out" for anyone that issint making at least 6 figures a year. At least thats the feeling i get from them in between all the name calling/issue dodging.

I think instead ile talk a bit on whats really being proposed here. I think an injection of good ole competative privatization into our medical system will benifit everyone. The more people that move into the "Can afford/Willing to pay" Line will do nothing except make the "government provided" line shorter. The wealthy get medical attention sooner..And so do I.

I guess i look at it like that because instead of being worried about forwarding a political agenda (Like the left..you know..attack everything Conservative/Christian be it right or wrong untill we can regain control over the government),Im actually concerned about people getting life saving medical attention. Guess im just not a big enough "Victim" /sarcasm off

/God Bless =D

 
At 10:53 AM, Blogger Blogger said...

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