Volume 92, Issue 92

Tuesday, March 23, 1999


Murderers should be reminded

Nurse funding disaster

It's more than $4

A history lesson about Kosovo

Iron clad

Nurse funding disaster

Re: New nurses applauded, March 17

To the Editor:

Within the last few days, Premier Mike Harris and his cronies have made announcement after announcement regarding new spending in health care. This is coming from the same man who promised in the last election that he would not close any hospitals. So let's look at his track record.

His government has spent $400 million over the past four years on severance packages for nurses his regime dismissed upon being elected. Now some of those nurses are being rehired in a total about face. His government has given us the worst ratio of nurses employed in the entire country – even lower than the Northwest Territories.

It has only spent a portion (one-quarter) of the $5 million for nurse practitioners (specially trained nurses to provide primary care) which it promised to spend in early 1998. They promised $1 million in training for emergency room nurses in April 1998, which has still not been spent.

His restructuring commission has actually identified $600 million in further cuts as hospitals are restructured. Meanwhile, he brags that he has spent more money on health care than any previous government, but what he fails to say is he is counting the money which goes to nurses' severance pay and to close hospitals into that amount and he also does not take into account inflation. Add to that the cost of his television propaganda campaign (including an ad during the Lewinsky interview – a great use of taxpayers' money).

All the while, Mike Harris has added $22 billion to our province's debt, $9.6 billion of that consisting of money borrowed to give us a tax cut. The fact of the matter is that while our health care system falters we still have the same lousy credit rating Ontario had during the NDP days of huge deficits. Common sense? More like nonsense.

Nawaz Tahir
Law I

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Copyright The Gazette 1999