It seems to be the way you ask the questions that determines your answers. You can sure be surprised by the different answers that public opinion polls can produce. I was seeing this conflict in polls related to questions about privatized health care. Canadians have very mixed attitudes about the subject.
But before getting into the polling questions, it is only Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan that have mistreated their health care system to the point that they are considering privatized services. What they have told us is that all expense incurred at private clinics will be billed to the province. And we know that is B.S.
I can only reference Ontario in this but the private clinics and surgeries presently active in Ontario are rife with options and upgrades in service. While provided through hospitals, Ontario ophthalmologists have been profiting from upgraded lenses and other ‘extras’ for many years now. Even the Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario, that was grandfathered into Ontario’s Medicare, has extras that some private insurers will pay for but not the province.
This subject occurred to me in reading another news release from the right-wing Montreal Economic Institute. MEI was, of course, shouting praise for seven out of ten Quebec residents supporting privatized health care. First you destroy the confidence people had for their healthcare delivery—and then you throw them a lifeline such as privatization. Why are you not surprised that some 70 per cent of respondents in Quebec will take whatever is offered. Mind you, the same survey said that only six in ten across Canada agreed with the Quebec results.
My personal antenna says that more Canadians are in favour of Medicare than are really in favour of privatized medicine as practiced in the United States. The reality is that most Canadians think the government should pay all the medical and dental bills rather than any of it come direct from their wallet. I know from some personal experience that there are limitations to the government service and payments in Alberta and British Columbia and Ontario is a disaster under the Ford conservatives.
They discouraged our nurses from staying in the profession during the pandemic by passing a law saying they could only have a one per cent raise in any one year. They further mistreated our hospital employees, and locked down their budgets when so much more was needed. We have been paying the price for their penny pinching. Even the minister of health refused to run again last year for the conservatives.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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