16.8 C
Niagara Falls
Thursday, June 13, 2024
Letter: Nurses, not private health care, are part of the solution
Letter. Supplied

Dear editor:

I am writing to respond to letters in The Lake Report on Jan. 25 (“Just ‘ask why,’ when debating property rights in NOTL”) and Feb. 8 (“Individual rights vs. government coercion“) from Alexander Evans.  

I am unfamiliar with Mr. Evans, or any previous writings on health care or other topics he may have submitted.

I am also not familiar in any way, with his personal or professional background.

I am, however, certain that his knowledge of nursing and health care in general is woefully inadequate at best.

The initial opinion he shared that privatization would lead to improved patient wait times and patient services is ludicrous.

While it may improve those things for a small proportion of society who can afford it, privatized health care will only deepen the divide between the haves and the have nots. 

Privatization will line the pockets of business owners but it will not, in any way, benefit the majority of Ontarians.

Despite Premier Doug Ford’s suggestions that everyone will have equal access to health care, at no additional cost, how can that be, when it is not true now?

Access to health care for most Ontarians would only be worsened by privatization, impacting a greater majority of the population. 

Further, Mr. Evans has not contemplated who would staff these entrepreneurial private clinics and services.

Staff would be diverted from our publicly funded system, taken from the current stretched and depleted health care system – hospitals, home care and long-term care settings – where serious underfunding over the past several decades has left them with a shortage of necessary resources and inadequate supports.

Nurses are leaving the profession, retiring early, or for some, needing medical leaves for stress, burnout, and PTSD due to their lived experiences.

Scarier yet, these clinics might have unregulated staff, who through no fault of their own, will receive minimal training to perform a task.

They would not receive the in-depth education, knowledge and skills nurses receive over four years of post-secondary education that prepares them to anticipate and intervene, in the best interest of their patients. 

Mr. Evans’ follow up opinion on Feb. 8, opens with a backhanded compliment to nurses. It seems he has not accessed or been involved in Ontario’s health care system in the past decade, let alone since the onset of the COVID pandemic. 

More than 50 years ago, Tommy Douglas, the father of modern medicare, set about establishing a program with a fee per capita system to cover healthcare costs for all.

That meant the marginalized, disadvantaged and others, including low-income, the poor and homeless and also those who can afford to pay more.

The people who will struggle with a privatized health care system will be those who lack benefits, extra income, rely on public transit and lack effective support systems.

Privatization will discriminate and harm the most vulnerable citizens of our society and harm the most in need in our communities. And all because of government and administrative mismanagement of funding. 

Let’s look at the facts, the real problems in our system and not further harm those already disadvantaged in our crumbing health care system (such as children, the elderly and the poor).

Let’s hold government and health care administrators accountable, and let’s provide the level of care we all want and deserve: access to care 24/7, to be cared for by a knowledgeable, expert and skilled clinician – nurses who are there 24/7, 365 days a year.

They resuscitate you, or hold your hand as you leave this world and they welcome, safely, your new baby, along with everything in between. 

As a registered nurse for more than 40 years, I urge people to fight for an effective and safe publicly funded health system.

Lorrie Daniels, RN

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