Ontario health minister won't rule out privatization as option to help ER crisis

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HRM Resident

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Aug 10, 2022, 4:07:24 PMAug 10
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<https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-health-care-privatization-1.6547173>

Asked if the government is considering privatization,
Sylvia Jones says 'all options are on the table'

Ontario's health minister isn't ruling out privatization
in health care as the government looks at ways to deal with
a major staff shortage straining hospitals across the province.

Sylvia Jones said the government is considering many ideas
in an effort to keep emergency departments from closing.

When asked if the government is considering privatization,
Jones said "all options are on the table."

"I'm saying that there is innovation and opportunities
here in Ontario, and we will explore those," she said at
the legislature on Wednesday.

Emergency departments across Ontario have had to close for
hours or days at a time this summer, which health-care officials
say is due to a nurse staffing crisis.

NDP 'horrified' by suggestion

Jones says she has been in talks with hospital corporations
across the province in an effort to fix the problem. The
government is considering changes to the health system,
she said, although she did not specify what those would be.

"We've always had a public health-care system in the province
of Ontario and we will continue to," she said.

"Are we looking at options? Absolutely. There are jurisdictions
in other parts of Canada, in the world, that have other
opportunities that we're going to look at and all of those
suggestions are being considered."

Interim NDP Leader Peter Tabuns said any health-care
privatization "would be a disaster for Ontario."

In a statement Wednesday, Ontario Opposition New Democratic
Party health care critic France Gélinas said the party was
"horrified" to hear that privatization is under consideration.

"We are now deeply concerned that the reason this Conservative
government is refusing to act on the health care crisis is
because they'd rather just privatize health care," Gélinas
said.


Advocates urge repealing wage-restraint legislation

Advocates have urged Premier Doug Ford to repeal public sector
wage restraint legislation that he introduced in 2019, saying
it is harming efforts to recruit and retain nurses.

Jones and Ford were peppered Tuesday about the ongoing crisis
in hospitals as they attended the first Question Period since
the Progressive Conservatives re-election in June.

Both did not call it a crisis, saying the government was investing
in the health-care system.

"If there was 5,000 nurses that could fly from the sky, we'd be
hiring them tomorrow," Ford said.

Jones said she is looking at "tweaks" to the health-care system
to help the problems in emergency departments, which have hit
some small rural hospitals harder than larger urban hospitals.

She said she has met with hospital administrators and nurses
unions to get more ideas on what to do. But she said she is
being cautious to understand how any suggested changes could
affect other parts of the health-care system.

Privatization in the spotlight in B.C.

"You can't just fix what is happening in health care shortages
in an emergency department and not appreciate and understand that t
here are impacts that may happen in the community through
community care services, through (personal support workers),
through long term care," she said.

Last week, Jones sent directives to the College of Nurses of
Ontario and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario,
urging them to make every effort to register internationally
educated nurses and doctors in the province as fast as possible.

The issue of privatization in health care has been in the
spotlight elsewhere in the country recently.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld a lower court's dismissal
of a Vancouver surgeon's challenge of that province's Medicare
Protection Act, saying bans on extra-billing and private insurance
do not violate the Charter.

The decision upholds the law aimed at ensuring access to medical
care in the public system is based on need, not a patient's ability
to pay.




And if Ontario does it . . .

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HRM Resident

James Warren

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Aug 10, 2022, 5:11:43 PMAug 10
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And on CTV local news right now is an article on Algomed,
a private clinic now open in Dartmouth. Who will man
private clinics? People already in the public system is
my guess. Result: no net change.


HRM Resident

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Aug 10, 2022, 5:46:29 PMAug 10
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James Warren <jwwar...@gmail.com> wrote:

>>
>
> And on CTV local news right now is an article on Algomed,
> a private clinic now open in Dartmouth. Who will man
> private clinics? People already in the public system is
> my guess. Result: no net change.
>
>
>

It’ll change things. Look at this:

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2021/aug/mirror-mirror-2021-reflecting-poorly

Look at the USA. Canada is second worst. Look at
the per capita amount spent on health care. But it’s
still coming our way. Tories are in power in Ontario
and here with a fresh majority. The insurance companies
are drowning in their own greedy drool!

And if that Poilievre tool wins in 2025, we’re fucked.
There’s nothing we can do about it.

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HRM Resident

James Warren

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Aug 10, 2022, 7:33:12 PMAug 10
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I meant there will be no net change in the number of health
care workers in the country. Health care delivery may
change as you suggest. The rich will pay for immediate
service and the poor will have unlimited delays, like now.

HRM Resident

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Aug 10, 2022, 8:27:26 PMAug 10
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James Warren <jwwar...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
> I meant there will be no net change in the number of health
> care workers in the country. Health care delivery may
> change as you suggest. The rich will pay for immediate
> service and the poor will have unlimited delays, like now.
>

I was talking to a guy tonight whose mother is in
the hospital waiting for an opening in an LTC residence.

He said that the doctors and nurses were walking
around like sedated zombies. All burnt out. So the
timing is right for right-wing governments to ease in
a user pay system for the rich. They’ll say it will take
the burden off the public system. That’s how they
will “fix health care.” They’ll fix it for the rich and the
hell with the rest of us.

I think that’s what they have in the UK. A two-tiered
system. The public is for the poor, and where the
medical staff who were on the shitty side of the university
bell curve work. The good ones work in private places.

Unlimited delays, as you say. Tommy Douglas must
be spinning in his grave.

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HRM Resident

James Warren

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Aug 10, 2022, 9:37:23 PMAug 10
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Indeed he might be.

The problem stems from lack of foresight. There needed to be
a long term plan to produce more health care workers years
before the need became urgent. They were reactive, not proactive
even though the current situation was easily foreseeable as the
boomer hump passed by.

There won't be a quick fix. We are loosing workers faster than
they are being produced and attracted from elsewhere. All
universities need to enlarge their programs.

lucretia

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Aug 11, 2022, 7:05:00 AMAug 11
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When they brought healthcare in they had really studied the English
model and concluded it must be all or nothing. They were right and
now politicians are trying to make a backward move. My aunt in the UK
(this was several years ago now) waited nearly four years for a much
needed hip replacement because the surgeon was doing one day a week
National Health Care and four days private. One could hardly blame
him.

HRM Resident

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Aug 11, 2022, 7:17:23 AMAug 11
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And that’s where we are heading in Canada. We used
to be duking it out for first place in medical care
with Norway in the 1980s and 1990s. Now Norway
is number one and we’re one notch above the USA.

I don’t know exactly what changed, but the decline
started when Mulroney and Reagan signed the Free
Trade Agreement in 1998.

Everything Canadian has slowly been eroded and
taken on the US model since. Is Health Care another
one? I am suspicious, but it really doesn’t matter
what I think. It’s unfixable as far as I can see.

--
HRM Resident

James Warren

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Aug 11, 2022, 9:49:40 AMAug 11
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Overall the FTA has been a good thing. Our cultures have
always been entangled, as is usual for neighbours.

>
> Everything Canadian has slowly been eroded and
> taken on the US model since. Is Health Care another
> one? I am suspicious, but it really doesn’t matter
> what I think. It’s unfixable as far as I can see.
>

We are far from the US model of healthcare. It has
fallen into decline because of lack of foresight
and funding. It is fixable, but not quickly. It
may fix itself once the boomer hump has passed.
We'll all be gone by then.

HRM Resident

unread,
Aug 11, 2022, 12:41:23 PMAug 11
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On 2022-08-11 10:49 a.m., James Warren wrote:

>
> We are far from the US model of healthcare. It has
> fallen into decline because of lack of foresight
> and funding. It is fixable, but not quickly. It
> may fix itself once the boomer hump has passed.
> We'll all be gone by then.
>

On an optimistic note, one has to wonder how
much of this is posturing because it just occurred
to me that the provinces are in the middle of
negotiating with Ottawa for another 10-year health
transfer agreement. The worse the provinces make it
sound, the more political pressure there is on Ottawa
to giv'em more.

The last one was negotiated between the feds
(Harper/Flaherty) in 2012. They typically are
10-year deals.

--
HRM Resident

HRM Resident

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Aug 11, 2022, 12:57:14 PMAug 11
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It's not all "DIE WAITING IN THE ER", to wit:

ER STAFF EXCEPTIONAL

The Chronicle Herald (Provincial) · 11 Aug 2022 · A6

The performance of personnel in the emergency room at
the QEII hospital in Halifax is often criticized.

My experience has been quite the opposite. I was
suffering chest pains one night and decided I’d
better call 911. An ambulance came within half an
hour, with two paramedics: Scott and Kelsey.

They checked me out and elected to take me to the
emergency room. I was parked in the hallway along
with seven others. The paramedics then stayed with
me while blood samples were extracted from my arm.
Blood pressure readings, X-rays and other tests were
taken. After a few hours, my tailbone was getting
unbearingly painful, so Scott brought me a full- sized
bed with a water mattress. What a relief!

All through the afternoon, the nurses and doctor
were polite, sympathetic and efficient and I can’t
thank them enough for their kindness and professionalism.
It turned out that my heart and lungs were OK and I
was sent home by 8:30 p.m. Thank you, ER crew.

H. Millard “Joey” Wright, Halifax


-- And --

SURFER CREW TO THE RESCUE

The Chronicle Herald (Provincial) · 11 Aug 2022 · A6

Three weeks ago, I had a terrible accident. I fell
off my bicycle while attempting maneuvers better
done by a much younger rider. I slammed down hard
on my side and shattered my hip; I couldn’t move.

It happened along the Atlantic View Trail located
near Lawrencetown Beach, and occurred just after 8 p.m.
— at a time when most trail users were done for the
day. I laid there in agony, not knowing what to do
— or how.

Within 10 minutes, a group of local surfers came
along the trail on their way home after enjoying an
evening out on the water. They came across my crumpled
body on the trail, and offered immediate assistance.
They teamed up and brainstormed a plan to assist me
and get me safely to the road, about 400 metres away.
After some deliberation, the plan was to carry me out
lying down on one of their long surfboards.

And indeed, they carried me out, and once we reached
the road, they called my wife, and an ambulance. Most
of them stayed with me the entire time until an
ambulance arrived about two hours later.

I later found out the group of surfers included a
first-year med student, a physiotherapist, a firefighter,
a former lifeguard, and a former member of the ski
patrol. I was in good hands!

I was taken to the Dartmouth General where I received
terrific care with a total hip replace-ment, and I
am now in recovery.

From the bottom of my heart, I can’t say enough about
the goodness and genuine care shown to me by these amazing
local surfers — complete strangers to me at the time. If
not for them and the timing of their late exit from the
beach, it could have turned out into something much more
difficult for me.

I didn’t catch all their names, but heartfelt thanks go
out to Natalie, Vincent, Reba, Adam, Kat, Aaron, and Singh,
with a big shoutout to Jill and Nico, owners of Lawrencetown
Surf Company. You are my heroes.

Thank you. Marcel Maessen, Dartmouth

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HRM Resident

James Warren

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Aug 11, 2022, 2:20:03 PMAug 11
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That's a cynical view but may be accurate even though cruel.

HRM Resident

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Aug 11, 2022, 2:26:10 PMAug 11
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On 2022-08-11 3:19 p.m., James Warren wrote:

>
> That's a cynical view but may be accurate even though cruel.
>

Always remember and never forget, that EVERY time
a politician does anything, it's with a view of getting
re-elected. It is cynical, but I suspect it's true.

Cruel? Yes. Do you think someone like Doug Ford cares
if people in LTC places die so he can get political
points? Yes, it's damn cruel, but power and ego go to
their heads. Maybe not right away, but after a while in
office they forget who they work for.

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HRM Resident

James Warren

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Aug 11, 2022, 2:33:23 PMAug 11
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I guess it's all for the greater good. :(

lucretia

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Aug 11, 2022, 4:47:11 PMAug 11
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2022 15:26:07 -0300, HRM Resident <hrm...@gmail.com>
wrote:
Rob and Doug Ford were both known drug dealers in HS so I never expect
anything from them.

HRM Resident

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Aug 11, 2022, 5:40:16 PMAug 11
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lucretia <lucreti...@fl.it> wrote:

>
> Rob and Doug Ford were both known drug dealers in HS so I never expect
> anything from them.
>

Doug Ford is premier for one reason. He’s not Dalton McGuinty or
Kathleen Wynne. They were back-to-back premiers of Ontario for a total of
15 years. Whoever was the leader of the Tory party there was guaranteed to
win. The “time for a change” monkey is impossible to beat.

As someone wiser than me said, when it’s time for a change, a German
Shepard could be the leader of the opposition and beat the incumbent. Ford
fucked up the medical system and LTC facilities during his first term, but
he could blame Covid. Now he has about four years to line his pockets, and
he will be gone. I feel sorry for the people of Ontario, but that’s how it
works.

The only place that they seemed stupider was in Alberta during the
Peter Lougheed/Ralph Klein years. Remember, “let the eastern bastards
freeze in the dark?” Their day will come when Putin’s war ends, and the
oil from the tar sands is worthless.

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HRM Resident

lucretia

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Aug 11, 2022, 6:24:45 PMAug 11
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I remember in 1968 when we did a cross country camping trip with the
kids, being parked by a curb in some isolated Alberta town and a car
pulling up beside us. When I opened the window to see what he wanted
he shouted 'How's the fish farm then?' and we were too new then to
grasp his meaning or the fact he was a displaced Maritimer!
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