Liz Sandals, tell us it’s not true

Posted June 19, 2012

I was sent an email the other day about a Toronto doctor saying the McGuinty budget includes a dangerous provision. It is one that forces anyone 75 and older to submit to Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan (OHIP) “public ethics committees” before being treated.

If true, “da preem” can start planning his retirement.

appears ludicrous that our aging population would be forced to submit to some nameless committee that meets twice a week in order to receive OHIP benefits. Imagine a senior whose physician has ordered a series of tests, presenting his or her medical treatment requirement to a group of stony-faced bureaucrats.

The stress alone would shorten their life span.

But wait? Supposing this report is untrue. Supposing the doctor, who claims it to be true, is an agent provocateur of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA).  You will recall there is a pitched battle going on between the Provincial Health Ministry and the doctors.

A lot of propaganda has been exchanged between the parties. Separating the truth from the hyperbole remains a daunting task for the taxpayers who pay the bills.

The language of the bureaucracy defeats understanding the aspects of the squabble. The result is it spreads confusion and misunderstanding together creating distrust on the part of Ontario’s health services consumers.

This is unlike any trade union dispute.

The protagonists are highly trained professionals who are also highly paid for their services.

That’s as it should be because everyone in the country is entitled to healthcare. So states the Canada Health Act that has been around for almost 50 years. The result is that Canadians are collectively among the healthiest in the world.

So why are consumers entitled to health treatments being threatened with drastic measures that go beyond reasonable rationing of those services?

Most consumer/patients are tolerant of wait times and minor inconveniences.

Some abuse the system through over-use of emergency services for treatment of minor ailments.

But subjecting seniors, almost 30 per cent of the population of Ontario, to have treatment approved by so-called ethics committees, is not only an affront to seniors but also a breach of the Canada Health Act.

Ontario’s doctors are quasi civil servants. They are paid from the public pot and the McGuinty government in the past nine years has been generous in dealing with the doctors.

But like many Ontarians who are feeling the effects of reduced pay and benefits due to the economic conditions, the provincial government has to tighten its belt. The budget document reflects that necessary reduction in spending.

The argument may be made that the McGuinty government has mismanaged the province’s economy in such a way that revenues are not meeting expenditures.

Nine years in power can create a malaise, a softening of resolve. This minority government is tired and overdue for a change.

Meanwhile the doctors should get back to the table and bargain in good faith. The government should look for other avenues to reduce or cut costs in order to maintain our cherished public health system.

 

 

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Between the Lines

4 responses to “Liz Sandals, tell us it’s not true

  1. Liz Sandals

    Hi Gerry
    You are correct.
    The e-mail you refer to is ABSOLUTELY and TOTALLY untrue.
    No wonder it is difficult to negotiate OHIP fees when this sort of fabrication is being circulated.

    • Liz: Thank goodness! It’s shameful that such misinformation regarding negotiations over health care services create such discomfort to the end users. Most surprising it is alleged to have come from a Toronto doctor. Hope this is not a precursor to dirty politics when negotiations resume between the province and OMA.

  2. Joe De Santis

    Mr. Barker. Take the time to investigate your concerns with those who may be able to actually answer your questions with truths rather than the political nonsense being fed to you by Ms. Sandals. Her level of understanding on these issues is shallow and she should be embarrassed.

    Please go to the EPSO.ca website or the OMA website to better understand what has happened throughout these so called negotiations.

    • Joe De Santos: I’m no great fan of the McGuinty government but in this case the specific threat to our health care system needed some clarification. On this point I believe Liz Sandals was refreshingly truthful. The threat was dismissed as propaganda.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s