Even the most politically disinterested observer had to know from
the minute the Deputy Minister of Health, John Abbott, uttered the word “change”
in relation to the health care system that he would be forced to eat his words
— by both government and union.
facilities that we no longer need and no longer can afford… We have 45 per cent
more nurses than the rest of the country.”
a knot, the premier’s office sent Abbott out to backtrack.
servant had the spine to speak truth to power, successive governments — mostly
Tory — having run the province over a fiscal cliff (note the past tense). It
seems there is one such person.
assess modifications to an excessively expensive healthcare system. His were
not random thoughts but a series of considered reforms. The CBC story read:
operator of a private personal-care home or ambulance service, Abbott said
prepare for a methodical and systematic retooling of the system over the next
three to five years.”
health and addictions, and caring for seniors.”
|Deputy Minister John Abbott
through attrition, reassigning health providers to where they’re most needed,
changing the way the four regional health authorities operate, and improving
services to rural areas by increasing the number of nurse practitioners.
community through new primary health-care teams comprising a broad spectrum of
situation, that such change is necessary?
Unfortunately, the Premier’s message to Abbott — and to us — is that we should
not be over-confident that the government has the courage to actually do
messaging. Minister John Haggie was nowhere to be seen. He ought to have been
ready to give Debbie Forward some much-needed perspective and to remind her that
this Province is about to change forever.
will not be pretty.
subject in a place where protecting one’s turf always holds precedence over larger
public policy concerns.
nursing workforce as we should,” or that the cost of “sick leave is
significantly higher” than in other provinces, Abbott might as well have been
suggesting the cancellation of the ferry services. The air is instantly sucked
out of the room, debate supplanted by vitriol.
assertions that reflect poorly on her membership. But was it really “outright
betrayal of the more than 5,500 RNs in the province,” as she stated? Was it
“bargaining in bad faith,” or tantamount to being “slapped in the face by this
government”? What I heard was comment, not a campaign.
|RNUNL President Debbie Forward
delivery? Do they not have primacy against larger questions — for instance, how
many nurses might be asked to take less work?
state: overspending, government’s mismanagement of its human resource needs,
and expenditures on health care relative to both the whole Country and to Nova
Scotia (which also has a highly dispersed rural population).
|Source: Dr.Wade Locke Presentation
|Source: Dr. Wade Locke Presentation
40.8% of all current account expenditures in 2016-17. Health care alone
represents 36% of the current account — 115% of the Canadian average — in 2016,
according to Dr. Wade Locke in the above Exhibit; “… 25 per cent more for
health care than the national average,” according to Abbott.
it’s not a recession until we are the ones out of a job. Fair enough. But it
seems to me, given the size of the problem, that the issues Abbott raises are
not the ones that should attract an excess of umbrage.
government — is missing an opportunity. She is skewering discussion even before
the real issues get their first breath.
right by them if she promotes the belief that the status quo is sustainable.
another. Collective bargaining won’t be an option if bondholders are asked to
take a haircut too.
heads of NAPE and CUPE — when a small cadre of politicians allowed sustainable
public policy to fall into an abyss?
reported to Parliament in October that the Province of NL needed to find $2
billion in expenditure cuts or new revenues in order to achieve sustainability.
And the reader should note that that Report failed to mention the one-half
billion dollars required to mitigate electricity rates in 2020.
stewards of our wealth.
into the Liberal Party’s strategic plan — or when the Deputy Minister of Health
is told to make bland utterances but, otherwise, to stay quiet. It’s just that
Ms. Forward, like the rest of us, should be laughing at them, not joining them.
Refusing to make the easy decisions now means that the hard ones continue to languish.
The first cuts that government makes will test our passions and our patience. They will affect health care and education;
rural NL, too. The hard ones will cause riots over roads and ferries, and wars
over jobs. More delay will only mean more riots, more wars.
some federal bureaucrat on the Rideau. I am still hopeful that we are smarter