It is not my custom to quote the Bible. Yet I have watched closely what has been happening with health care in Ontario. It is a disgrace. The conservative government came into power in 2018 and the downhill slide was there for all to see. The pandemic became the smoke screen for incompetence. The Ontario Medical Association was the bastion of the specialists and the family physicians had to fend for themselves.
The doctors threw the nursing staffs overboard and the conservatives blocked any improvement in wages. There was less for the administrators. Sound, well-run hospitals were spiralling. They were forced to do without volunteers. I spent more than a week trying to contact the patient advocate in one hospital. When I finally caught up with him, I found that he never talked to the patients. People like him had the challenge of protecting their jobs.
My local hospital had a reputation of excellent kitchens and eager-to-please volunteers. The volunteers were shut out and the kitchens closed. The junk that was trucked in at the time was barely edible. I spent a month in that hospital with a fractured ankle and lost more than 25 pounds. They might complain about place-holders but I had a bit of a contest with the staff person who was responsible for getting rid of patients who no longer needed all the facilities. It was far more important to me to get out of there than it was for her to get rid of me. We both pushed the workers in rehab.
But these years of conservative control of budgets in Ontario have taken their toll. My local hospital will be a long time recovering. Our citizens supported that hospital. It was our best-supported charity. Even the volunteers had waiting lists.
Yet, our seniors see the hospital today as a place that does not want them. They fear being shipped off to some far nursing home that lacks any staff or interest in restoring their more pleasant times. Our hospitals are losing the support of the community.
In the meantime, the provinces have ganged up on Ottawa, demanding that the federal government rescue them from their failed efforts at sustaining Medicare. Each level of government has to do its share.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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