MacKinnon weighs in on health care


MacKinnon weights in on health care


Health care, as Canadians’ highest priority, will be talked about a lot in the campaign but no politician will dare raise the fundamental issues at stake in Canada’s health care system and this will contribute to voters’ cynicism and disengagement from the political process.

Though many Canadian health care services are delivered by private agencies -from doctors’ clinics to ambulances to radiologists – our leaders will stick to the line that only public delivery ensures quality, ignoring recent reports about the number of unnecessary deaths in our publicly run facilities. All will claim that we have a one-tiered system, turning a blind eye to those who avoid Canada’s long waiting lists by leaving Canada or in Saskatchewan traveling to Alberta where people can pay for MRIs.

 And despite the fact that the costs of health care are increasing faster than the revenue of any government, all parties will sidestep the affordability issue and promise more money to “fix” the system, never mind if this means that other priorities suffer.

 There will, then, be no debate about health care, only a bidding war. No party gets a “clean” political win on health care. Potentially vulnerable on the topic, the Conservatives have cleverly refused to engage the debate and even used the promise of a national drug plan to try to soften their image. The Liberals’ announcement of $9-billion, much of it to tackle waiting lists, was clouded by questions as to why such money was not included in its recent budget. And though the NDP may gain the most if health care remains a major issue, its promise of more than $27-billion comes at the cost of massive tax increases.

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