Potential future PM Zener faces opposition

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Could UWO student become ‘Next Great Prime Minister’?”
Jan. 11, 2007

To the Editor:
While it’s impressive that a Western student has been selected to a group of finalists in CBC’s Next Great Prime Minister, I am left contemplating Canada’s fate if Zener’s main focus of two-tier health care were implemented.

While her fight for a poor, defenseless doctor’s right to choose is valiant, our future PM should know it already IS the right of any Canadian physician to practise privately as it’s fully legal to opt out of the public health-care system. Thus, contrary to Zener’s argument, a two-tier system wouldn’t be necessary.

Less than 10 per cent of the Canadian GDP goes towards health care, while the U.S. (a private system) spends 15 per cent of its GDP on health care. So not only would a two-tier health-care system disproportionately lower the number of doctors for Canada’s middle and lower-class, it would increase the amount of governmental expense toward a health-care system most Canadians couldn’t even afford.

A recent Harvard study compared clinical services (such as breast cancer screening and beta blocker medication after myocardial infarction) with widely accepted standards of care and showed a reduced quality of care in for-profit health systems when compared to its not-for-profit counterpart.

Finally, with regard specifically toward the British system, physicians who work both publicly and privately have been seen artificially inflating public wait times as a strategy to deter patients from the public system to the more personally profitable private one. My once-British neighbour was told by his doctor he could bump his back surgery from a six-month public wait to one day with a mere 8,000-pound gift. This clearly raises some ethical issues.

I do wish Ms. Zener luck in the competition. However, with Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell and Joe Clark all on the panel, she may not even need it.
"Brad Rostas
Cellular Biology IV


To the Editor:
Thursday as I walked in the University Community Centre and picked up The Gazette, I screamed. Becky Zener may, by the definitions of the application process, have what it takes to be the “Next Great Prime Minister” and I applaud her for reaching the top 25.

However, I find it quite shocking that someone who asked why we sing the national anthem at the University Students’ Council meetings is even being considered. We sing it to remember those who gave their lives for this country, to show our appreciation for the wonderful country we live in and to show Canadian pride. I kept quiet when she asked that question at the meeting because I felt she was simply trying to make some kind of statement, but knowing she might be considered as one of Canada’s next great prime ministers, I must voice my dismay. Best of luck to Becky in her pursuit, but remember: if you’re gonna be prime minister, you have to sing the national anthem " or at least pretend to mouth the words.
"Chad Callander
Political Science II

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