So Martin has spelled out his healthcare proposal and it's almost the same as Harper's plan, except the feds will pick up the tab when they schlep us around to wherever we can get timely care (and the U.S. is not an option under the Liberal plan). I don't see how that would provide any incentive for the provinces to improve their wait times. And isn't it just more stampeding on provincial turf?
Because in the end it's the provinces that decide where to allocate the real money on health care delivery. When Lucien Bouchard made his cuts in the late nineties as Quebec premier, he closed hospitals and drastically reduced the number of nurses. The feds didn't have a say. Of course the primary reason he did that was in response to massive cuts in transfer payments from Ottawa for healthcare. It was deficit strangling time all around.
Now we have a very strained system where family doctors are working long hours and turning new patients away. Nurses are over-worked and many opt for cushier jobs at better pay in Alberta or south of the border. We aren't graduating enough new doctors, nor keeping enough here either. We have fancy new machinery but not enough trained technicians to run them or decipher the results. Anesthesiologists are in short supply as well.
It's like the NHL trying to put a better product on the ice by tweaking the rules. You still have too many teams and not enough skilled players. The product is just as watered down.
So here we have the people running for Prime Minister telling us they can make it all better. In the end, they really can't and they shouldn't be expected to. Our provincial premiers have that job.
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