24.9 C
Niagara Falls
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Letter: Health system needs fixing but privatization is not the answer

Dear editor:

In the March 17 edition of The Lake Report, I read in your editorial that with an election on the horizon, now is the time for council to act on short-term rentals.

Tackling the proliferation of short-term rentals sounds good locally, but provincially, I would suggest we need to be focused on health care. 

With this ongoing pandemic, we seriously need to look at saving our health care system.

The number of health care issues — backlogged surgeries, cancer screenings, routine health checkups with doctors, etc. — are starting to make people think we need to privatize our health care so that we can clean up the backlog.

If you can afford to pay, you can go to the front of the queue. This leads directly to a “have/have not” scenario in health care.

Those who can afford to pay, get the services immediately, while those who cannot afford it, must wait.

We cannot allow this to happen. The provisions of the Canada Health Act state all persons must have access to health coverage without cost.

Privatization of our long-term care facilities also must be addressed.

“For-profit” care means just that, “profit.” Shareholders must be appeased by increasing dividends on their investments.

As a result, personal support workers make low wages, have no benefits, and until the pandemic, had to work several different jobs to make a living wage. Bill 124 also restricts wage and benefit increases to 1 per cent per year. This must be repealed. 

Our seniors deserve the best of care and their caregivers deserve “a politician’s compensation.”

My husband and I are in our early 70s and we often say we have lived through the best years in history.

We must remain on guard to protect the hard-won benefits our ancestors acquired for us. One of the hallmarks of being Canadian is our health care system.

We must preserve it for our children and grandchildren because once the “for profits” get their hands on it, we will have a great deal of trouble getting it back.

Yes, there is an election on the horizon. We must make our politicians aware of our expectations for the future.

Betty Ann Chandler

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