Is There A Doctor ....... ???
RICE POINT, PEI: Glancing through newspapers on line @ National Newswatch, Citizen Ellie noted several references to a new campaign promise by "Deceiver" Dalton -- if elected, his government will reinstate physician house calls in Ontario.
Citizen Ellie has this question for Mr. Tax and Spend: considering that probably half of Ontario's population doesn't have access to a family doctor, where will these physicians be found who are willing to make house calls ?
Perhaps you saw the photo in the Globe and Mail a couple of weeks ago. Hundreds of people lined up outside a newly-opened medical practice in Barrhaven, hoping against hope they would be among the lucky ones to make it onto one of the doctors' rosters. Citizen Ellie's daughter-in-law was one of those in the queue.
We tend to adopt a sneering, supercilious attitude towards our neighbors to the south when it comes to discussions about health care and which country's system is better. We happily point to the fact that over a third of the U-S population does not have access to health care because they cannot afford to pay for it. We loudly proclaim that our system is better -- everyone has access to health care -- and it's free.
Except it's not free. We pay for it through our taxes. Compare our income tax rates with those of our American neighbors with similar incomes. We pay heavily. And in Ontaario, we pay even more, thanks to "Deceiver" Dalton's health care tax which he implemented shortly after he was first elected -- on the promise of no new taxes. Some Ontarians, Citizen Ellie included, pay as much as an extra $950 per year to the Ontario government -- allegedly for health care.
Excedpt there are no doctors. There's a serious doctor shortage in Ontario. Why ? Think back to the NDP government headed by Bob Rae -- yes, the very same Bob Rae who's now interim leader of the federal Libs. During his period as premier, health care costs were eating up quite a chunk of the provincial budget. Who was to blame for this ? In the socialists' minds, it was the fault of those highly-paid doctors. How to solve the problem ? Cap admission to medical schools.
Problem was that there was a serious lack of forward thinking on the part of the Rae government. They conveniently forgot it takes ten-plus years to make a doctor. They conveniently forgot that Ontario's population was aging, people were living longer, and health isues attendant on the aging process would increase as a consequence.
Then there's the doctors' union -- otherwise known as the Ontario Medical Association. The OMA and the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons (the provincial licensing body for doctors) determine who gets to practice medicine in this province. These folks run a closed shop -- just as closed a shop as the old craft unions ran in the early days of the labor movement.
They make it extremely difficult for foreign-trained doctors to practice in Ontario. Even if the foreign training was received at a prestigious, world-class medical school such as Glasgow University in Scotland or Trinity in Ireland. The powers in control in Ontario look upon institutions such as these as third world outfits and doctors who've graduated from these institutions have to jump through hoops to have their credentials recognized in Ontario.
But Ontario is not alone in this. The same thing happens here in Prince Edward Island. The public here recently learned that a board certified, experienced physician who had years of practice in Boston was being required to go through the qualification dance established on the island to control admission of foreign-trained doctors. This -- when the doctor shortage on the island is desperate.
Given our level of taxation and the fact we in Ontario carry the extra burden of "Deceiver" Dalton's health care premium, are we getting what we're paying for ? When Ontario residents have to queue up for hours in the hope they might make it onto a family doctor's roster, Citizen Ellie would have to say that we're not.
This should be a major issue during the coming provincial election. Get off your duffs, get out to the public meetings in your area. Sit close to the floor mikes. Get up and challenge your sitting MPP. What is he or she personally doing to bring more family doctors into the province ? Demand an answer. Vote accordingly.
More posts. Soon.