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)