Letters to the Editor

The Cuts hurt

Re: ‘Shortage of palliative care beds,’ The NEWS, May 8.

One bed for the entire Oceanside area is a disgrace, but not surprising to me. Nor is the loss of a nurse at the chemo unit in Nanaimo. I understand the priorities of the neo-Con/Lib governments, nationally and provincially. Those governments are ideologically opposed to our national health-care system and much prefer the American system of for-profit health care, although that system is much more expensive (and less effective than ours, for the vast majority of Americans), as evidenced by their child mortality rate and longevity compared to other developed nations.

Just last year $3.1 billion dollars that was supposed to have been spent for anti-terrorism totally disappeared and can’t be accounted for. The national debt has increased by one third under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s governments. Meanwhile, the Harper government will be cutting $3.6 billion per year for the next 10 years from health-care transfers to the provinces. And yet we keep hearing the mantra for lower taxes on corporations even though corporate taxes in this country are the lowest in the G8. (according the Huffington Post article ‘Flaherty’s Legacy,’ April 15.)

Sadly, many Canadians have been brainwashed into accepting the inevitability of privatized health care. Some think that for-profit healthcare will actually shorten wait times for public health care. They don’t realize that with the same number of surgeons available, those who can afford the extra expense can jump to the front of the line thereby increasing the wait times for the less fortunate. This is not what Tommy Douglas intended and warned would happen if we weren’t ever vigilant.

It’s all a matter of priorities.

James Paterson


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