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Apr. 21, 2019 | Sunday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter to the editor: Healthcare in Canada
File photo.

SUBMITTED BY TOM THORNTON.
OPINION

Do you remember when you needed surgery you could get it in a matter of days, not years? Do you remember when doctors made house calls?

In 1945, when I was just eight years old, I had my tonsils removed at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Montreal. Our family doctor who was not part of a Quebec Medical Clinic told my parents I would need my tonsils and adenoids removed. He immediately called the hospital to make arrangements for that operation. That was on a Monday evening while he was in our home. He had me scheduled for my operation Wednesday morning. After surgery I was kept in the hospital until Friday and during that time while in hospital I was given a large share of ice cream to sooth my throat. That’s what remains in my mind to this day. Oh, and how kind the nuns/nurses were to me.

Starting to get the picture of what it was like then and before Tommy Douglas and the NDP in 1961 gave us our present system? Now I’m not saying we should throw the baby out with the bath water, but did this new system solve our medical problems or did it just make things worse for all of us? Have we ever seen a government-run organization that was successful? Let’s look at the CBC and the millions of dollars invested to keep government-run TV on the air. That’s just a small taste of government-run ineptitude. Are we starting to get the picture of why so many people hate to see the government-running any organization that requires financial responsibility? More recently we should remember, for a very long time, the Federal mishandling of the western pipeline that cost us billions of dollars and has yet to pump an ounce of oil through it’s system.

Privatization of our medical system would be a step backward for all of us no matter our financial position. But, is a government-run medical system working? Ever had to wait 18 to 24 months with a pain level of 10 on the scale of one to 10, to receive surgery to relieve that pain? Ever had to wait a month for results from a biopsy to learn if you indeed had cancer. Why the delay in this process? Is it due to a lack of funds or is it mismanagement of funds that allows the system to have insufficient personnel to handle these tasks?

Is Privatization, Government management or a combination of the two a way to get back to the medical system we had over 74 years ago? Is there a way to combine the two that might be better? Or do we listen to the left and continue with the criminal mismanagement of our medical system? Have you ever had surgery at the Shouldice Clinic or was your operation done at your local hospital? I’ve experienced both and had total success at Shouldice whereas the local hospital repair had to be redone by Shouldice. Should we have specialized services done at clinics like Shouldice? Total government-run medical service will just perpetuate the same mistakes and run up a greater debt than we already have.

There are many questions that need to be answered to the problems with our medical system. That will require people with the knowledge to decide the solutions and not by people who are determined to do a poor job only seeking personal gains. Should politicians be left with the task of sorting out this mess made by them, or do we need the minds of our medical people, brilliant minds of people in the community and people who have experienced problems with the system to make the right decisions? Leave it up to governments to resolve these enormous issues and you will get more of what we already have. That’s not what I want and I’m sure it’s not what you want. These are problems that require intelligent minds and not people who have continued to fail at it for all of these years.

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