Nurses Union: Politics Before Debate?
In the midst of the provincial government’s landmark “Conversation on Health Care”, the BC Nurses Union has shown that it has no interest in trying to find solutions to BC’s health care conundrum and would rather play politics with court cases.
On December 20th, the BCNU filed a revised argument in BC Supreme Court that basically called for a moratorium on private involvement in our health care system.
Fair enough opinion I guess from an entrenched public sector labour group whose driving aim is to grow its membership working in public facilities like hospitals and clinics.
It would be one thing if the government was cutting the health care budget. It isn’t. In 2006, the government spent $3.6 billion more on health care than just six years ago. The total health spending now sits at $12.8 billion or approximately 40% of the provincial budget.
It is no secret that we could spend more on health care. That’s one option. Of course, it would mean spending less on public transit, or education, or policing or welfare.
I don’t see the BCNU’s Supreme Court filing addressing those tough budget decisions instead they are rehashing old, tired rhetoric.
This overly politicized environment does nothing to serve the future sustainability of our health care system. It makes for good headlines, but doesn’t actually do much to deal with the looming spectre of an aging population reliant on public health services.
The average spent by government on health care for a 45-64 year old is $2364. This increases tenfold to $20,878 per senior 85 years and older. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about the aging baby boomers who are starting to hit retirement age and approaching the time of their greatest impact on our system.
There are other factors in the increase of provincial health costs: more expensive drugs and new technology are among them. Fortunately, people are surviving health crises that even ten years ago would have killed them due to these phenomenal advances. We don’t want to turn back the clock, but we need to figure out some ways to lesson the impact on public coffers so that those who need services get them in a timely manner.
The BCNU is obviously mistrustful of the “Conversation on Health Care”.
Because the government is engaging directly with the public who aren’t traditional special interests, they can gain ideas untainted by public sector agendas.
This is probably quite nerve wracking for the BCNU who seem to have decided that instead of constructive solution making, court cases would make better public policy.
Find out more about the Conversation on Health Care at : www.bcconversationonhealth.ca. The BCNU filing can be found at: www.bcnu.org