Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Friday, January 09, 2004

Health-care Junkies 

It appears that Mr. Klein thinks I am a "health-care junkie" because I am one of many Albertans who know and care about the health council proposed in the Romanow Report (Klein blasts health council - Journal, November 20,2003). Our Premier is quoted as saying, "Outside of the Friends of Medicare and maybe some of the health-care junkies, who knows about a health council?"

Well, I do. I know that every province except Alberta now supports it. I know that Mr. Romanow suggested it to ensure compliance with the principle of universality in the Canada Health Act. He did it to ensure some consistency in health care services across this country rather than the patchwork that will result if every province is allowed to go its own way ­as our Premier apparently wants Alberta to do.

Nor do I accept that this knowledge makes me a health-care junkie. In fact it seems to me that the term "junkie" is more appropriately applied to those who reject ideas because they came from someone else or because the idea might inhibit their freedom to do as they please on their own turf (i.e. power junkies).

I don't think Alberta has anything to fear from a national health council. We can certainly contribute some innovative ideas and, who knows, we might even learn something from other provinces. Accordingly, I invite our Premier to do the right thing and support the health council idea. After all, what is there to lose?

Noel Somerville

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