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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, February 24, 2006

SENSIBLE HEALTHCARE #3 

QUEBEC’S SENSIBLE BEATS
KLEIN’S IRRATIONAL “THIRD WAY”

Comment # 3
If I understand Senators Michael Kirby and Wilbert Keon, writing in the Globe and Mail (2/18/06), they are solidly in support of having all medical services financed by the state from public revenues. Quebec, they say, is in no way following Ralph Klein’s insane (see previous posting) attempt to throw the public system open to an imagined flood of private money that would come from citizens buying private insurance to, supposedly, cover surgical procedures for hips, knees, eyes and other as-yet-unspecified organs.

They see Quebec's response to the Chaouilli decision (June 9/05) as highly consistent with their own Senate committee report in 2002 proposing a care guarantee based on clinical assessment rather than on the patient’s ability to pay.

However, for that guarantee to become a reality a far more serious problem must be made the central issue. The most serious source of failure to meet patient needs can’t be solved simply by adding more opportunities to use private resources. It is the same glaring shortfall identified by Dr. Colleen Flood, holder of the University of Toronto Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy when she reported on the Supreme Court’s Chaouilli decision at the UofA in November 05.

Three highly qualified students of health care in Canada point to the severe shortage of human and physical resources as the real cause of failure to meet the country’s medical needs. The fact is that the pubic system in Alberta has been starved for over a decade of the resources necessary for the task at hand. Nowhere in Canada can that be seen more clearly than In Alberta where the Klein government has withheld not only massive amounts of money, but, more damagingly, has forced cutbacks on the schools and programs that train healthcare personnel. So the Klein government has, first, handicapped the effectiveness of the public system and now, second, proposes a costly, non-sensible solution.

In the next comment; what the senators suggest must be done.

Blair McPherson

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