EDITORIAL & OPINIONS
Some private health services would
From the Far Lane
When asked what the most important political issue is to them,
most Canadians say health care, and for good reason.
Politicians of all stripes understand the priority, as the
state of Canada's health system (as presented through the media)
appears to be crumbling: ever-growing waiting lists, a doctor
shortage, packed emergency rooms and a lack of hospital beds.
Ontario's new premier, Dalton McGuinty, has pledged to resolve
the problem by hiring 8,000 nurses. Unfortunately, it is doctors
that are needed. Have you been to an emergency room lately?
Four nurses stand around and gossip while patients wait for
the one on-duty doctor to see them.
I'm not saying nurses don't do an incredibly challenging job
for relatively low pay and even lower appreciation. I'm just
saying that for every great nurse I've seen, I've also seen
a lazy, useless one. The government needs to focus on attracting
doctors, but that fact has been obvious for a long time now.
The best, and most realistic, answer to alleviate some of
health care's suffering is also the most unpopular, because
left-wing ideologues have created and propagandized the term "two-tier
Allowing private construction of certain additional services
- such as MRI clinics - is an entirely sensible proposal. Opponents
decry the concept because they claim it is unfair for some
people to be able to pay for immediate service when people
with less money can't.
But if anyone actually used their intellect rather than dogmatic
emotion, they'd realize by not allowing certain private services
to open, they're denying a great benefit to the health care
system and society in general.
Think about it: a person who wants to pay for a private MRI
scan, while still paying taxes into the public system, is taken
off the public waiting list when he or she does so. The list
is shortened, so the people who don't pay for a private scan
benefit with a lesser waiting time.
Critics might argue this is a slippery slope and allowing
some private services will lead to a United States-style system
with private hospitals and a totally inequitable system. But
slippery slope arguments could be applied to almost any issue.
Permitting certain services doesn't always mean going to extremes.
The leftist concern over socioeconomic equality, coupled with
the negative spin the media puts on the idea of privatization
and its use of the term "two-tier health care," is only serving
to harm the state of health care in this country. It's time
people plugged their bleeding hearts, open their eyes and let
a little common sense prevail.