What new hospital?
Gatineau and the Outaouais have been short-changed of their share of the province’s health care budget by both Liberal and PQ governments. This element of governmental “austerity”is aimed exactly at us – and it is because we always vote the same way?
The CAQ has promised us a brand new hospital for Gatineau.
But how was this to solve our chronic shortage of general funding, specifically our crying shortage of medical specialists, family physicians, nurses, and home-care support workers? Dump a few million, a billion even – it is all debt which we taxpayers will have to pay off in the future – and create a magnificent new campus or institution (with pay parking)?
Forget asking where, ask how will a new building help, exactly?
Perhaps new, modern facilities will attract specialists, doctors and nurses, but surely they are motivated by salaries and working conditions, support facilities, and general social conditions where they will live, work, and raise their own families. Don’t we suspect that shiny new buildings may catch politicians’ eyes, but nurses need better salaries and working conditions? Don’t physicians seek a reduction in paperwork and bureaucracy – and timely access to specialist services?
Promising a new hospital was a quick vote-getter, not a solution.
Why not more geriatric services and more obstetrics? And don’t mention the lack of mental health care services here! And why not spread these increased services to the rural areas as well as the city – if only to ease the load on the city facilities, if not to serve rural people better? The city of Maniwaki no longer has obstetrics services. How intelligent is that, from any point of view? Why are there so few home-care services – to keep people out of hospitals and acute-care?
The Coaltion government is in no rush to fulfil this promise of a brand new hospital. That is a good thing, but not if it means inaction on the entire health care front?
Modern government is incredibly complex and overloaded with demands from all sectors. Just taking a knife to government services, as the Coulliard government did, is poor government. So is the opposite: grabbing a simplistic solution (a new building) merely to have a “solution”. We voted for good government, first, and real-problem solutions, second. Are we getting either on health care?
Don’t even think of privatization of services, please! We don’t want our health care becoming corporate profit centres! Look at our local needs – fill them specifically. There’s the rocket science!