Friday, October 05, 2007

Ontario senior's family turns to ad in desperate search for doctor

In McGuinty-land, everything is fine and everyone is well looked after. Oh, there is 'still some work to do', but all in all things are running smoothly, right?

Not according to 92-year-old Etta Young. She has had no family doctor for over a year now, and the family finally resorted to placing an ad in the local newspaper -

"Wanted! In desperate search to find physician for my 91-year-old mother."

The retired nurse says that sometimes she feels so bad, "There's times I've actually cried".

"I have angina, I have asthma, I have arthritis in my hip, and I can't even go see a doctor," said Ms. Young, who makes do with walk-in clinics. "When I'm having pain, I feel completely hopeless. I think, 'Is this really happening to me?' I've always had a doctor."

Mr. Tory said Ms. Young shows what's wrong with Ontario's health system. "The thing that motivates me to have the degree of determination I do," Mr. Tory told a crowd of mostly seniors, "to say I am going myself to the United States to bring doctors home, is meeting people like Mrs. Young."

Mr. Tory used the woman to illustrate his two-pronged, stepped-up approach against Dalton McGuinty: charging that the Premier does not talk to average folk and that he hasn't done anything to ease the doctor shortage.

But wait! That's not totally true, John.

Dalton has emerged from his bubble once in a while to talk to the common man. Let me see. It was just the other day, wasn't it?

Oh yes. Dalton McGuinty had an extensive conversation that day. In fact he referred to it again and again:
Yesterday, Mr. McGuinty cited his meeting with Mr. Brady as proof that he is interacting with voters.

"Maybe you weren't there when I met Mr. Brady in Ottawa and mainstreeted in a hospital corridor," he told reporters after a speech to a business audience at the Empire and Canadian clubs in Toronto. "I've had a great opportunity to meet with Ontarians to get a better sense of where they are at and where they want us to go."

Yesterday was the second time Mr. McGuinty has mentioned Mr. Brady by name, even though he did not stop to interact with him. The first time was at a Liberal barbecue rally in Ottawa last week.

When reminded yesterday that he actually brushed aside Mr. Brady's comments about cancer treatment, Mr. McGuinty replied: "Let me tell you about what we are doing on the cancer front." He then cited a list of actions he said the Liberals have taken to invest in cancer.
(i.e. Lib-Spin - ed.)


Dalton McGuinty even bends enough to talk to his own supporters! - (Globe):

Mr. McGuinty denied that he is avoiding direct contact with voters, saying he has met with many Ontarians.

"I think I just spoke to 500 people in that room alone," Mr. McGuinty said after his speech.
*Gasp!*



But back to the doctor shortage - John Tory has a plan:

Mr. Tory promised that he would provide financial incentives to lure some of the estimated 9,000 Canadian-trained doctors working in the United States back to Ontario. He also said he would encourage young doctors to stay here by letting them defer paying back loans for medical school, and provide more flexible retirement arrangements for older doctors to allow them to continue practising part-time.

Etta Young seems convinced:
Ms. Young told reporters that she thinks the health-care system is "absolutely dreadful. Maybe I've just lost faith, I don't know," she said. "I'm sure if Mr. Tory can do what he says he can do, boy, he deserves to get in."

I agree, Ms. Young.

And I hope Ontario voters give John Tory the opportunity to help you.


* * * *
Update: Photo of Etta Young here.

Dalton's week in review.

Clogged ER's Rampant, Tory says.

Hospital Costs Hidden - NDP:

NDP Leader Howard Hampton stepped up his campaign attack on the Liberal government today, accusing it of deliberately hiding from the public the huge cost overruns for privatized hospitals until after the election.

...Hampton said Di Cocco’s excuse for not coming forward is because “she says she doesn’t read her mail. That was her position from Aug. 14 to just a couple of days ago.”


More work to be done for autistic kids: McGuinty - CTV:

"They thought they had a champion; what they received was a champion promise-breaker," Tory said.



The Prince of Darkness must be celebrating tonight:

October 5, 2007 – CanWest just posted these results, so I guess I can now, too. What does it mean? It means we keep working, and we GOTV.




26 comments:

bluetech said...

Too bad this wasn't in the fore front 3 weeks ago. The education smoke screen worked for McGuinty.
How many photo ops did he have with all those cute kindergarten kids?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Bluetech, exactly.

The 'Prince of Darkness' strikes again.

Anonymous said...

Hey, while bluetech mentions it I think we in Ontario should forbid politicians to use little kids as nice bookends during campaigns.

I think campaigning politicians should be banned from elementary schools....period.

I hate that all of them use kids in this way.

Heck, if the teacher unions did it we'd be screaming bloody murder.

What's the difference in McGuinty holding cute kids hostage for a photo op and the unions holding our schools and students hostage during their beefs with the governments?

bluetech said...

And strolling thru hospital corridors is just as tacky. Does anyone realise the strict confidentiality that hospital employees adhere to? I work in a hospital. I dare not tell anyone at the supper table who I saw at the hospital for fear of breeching that trust.So Dalton can breeze thru there with cameras rolling? I would like to challenge the administration of that hospital to find out who allowed cameras in.
WAKE UP ONTARIO!!!

Anonymous said...

I live in the next town to Cobourg - the problem is doctors don't want to come to small towns. They like to be connected with the big hospitals.

I don't know how long she's lived in Cobourg, but if it's a case of her doctor retiring or something - obviously her doctor didn't refer her to another one.

My cousin's doctor retired and sent her a letter recommending her to another doctor.

We have terrific walk-ins here so she's not stuck.

Wayward son said...

"But back to the doctor shortage - John Tory has a plan:"

Yes and what a plan it is!

"Mr. Tory promised that he would provide financial incentives to lure some of the estimated 9,000 Canadian-trained doctors working in the United States back to Ontario."

That will cost a wack load of money. Better cut the health premium at the same time - that makes sense. So lets see, increase doctor salaries by a massive amount (because that is what will be required to get those doctors back) and then due to lack of funds cut everything else. I am sure those doctors will be thrilled working with a hammer and some nails in their garage with an untrained minimum wage assistant instead of a nurse.

So it sounds great so far, but it gets even better.

"He also said he would encourage young doctors to stay here by letting them defer paying back loans for medical school,"

Wow. Most new doctors I know actually had their loans completely paid off by the practice they work for on signing a several year contract. Certainly if they have any interest working in area with a shortage, then the perks are plentiful. But having those loans deferred sounds much better. We need doctors so why is the cost of medical school skyrocketing in the first place? Furthermore training more doctors is not an easy thing to do. There are only so many residency positions and increasing that number would require residents to train in locations where the lower volume would jeopardize the quality of the learning experience.

"and provide more flexible retirement arrangements for older doctors to allow them to continue practising part-time."

I will give him credit for this. It makes sense and was the kind of policies I had expected from Tory. Sadly he has been mostly a disappointment and his other points are just cheap points which will effectively do nothing.

Anonymous said...

There are many areas that 'health care dollars' are being mispent. Ontario needs someone to get inside and clean up the abuse of the business and turn it back to a service.
Unions would not like that, and neither would the administrations with the huge salaries.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

So Dalton can breeze thru there with cameras rolling? I would like to challenge the administration of that hospital to find out who allowed cameras in.
WAKE UP ONTARIO!!!
.

Now that's a good point. I wonder if every patient in that clip signed a release?

Anonymous said...

Good news for Huron-Bruce - thanks in large part to the fact that fb funding didn't even make it onto the radar up here, and to the candidate's composure and consistancy in supporting his community's issues of agriculture, tourism, and the economy, local stations are predicting the Conservatives will win this riding. Also a good chance at winning London Middlesex.

Looks like southwestern Ontario had brains enough to see through McGuinty's diversion tactics...and isn't falling for it...not this time.

Too bad for the suckers(oops) I should say voters in the 905 who seem talked into another 4 years of arrogance, lies and, slushfunds for Liberal friends.

Anonymous said...

A minor disappointment I can live with.

Dalton/Sorbara/Wynne for another four years......no siree!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Unions would not like that, and neither would the administrations with the huge salaries.


No, they sure wouldn't. Hence the union support solidly behind McGuinty.

Public service unions are way too powerful in this province.

Wayward son said...

anonymous - "Unions would not like that, and neither would the administrations with the huge salaries."

Joanne - "No, they sure wouldn't. Hence the union support solidly behind McGuinty.

Public service unions are way too powerful in this province."

You people have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. In the case of nurses, for instance, if anything the "big bad" union has kept wages low. When everyone gets paid the same the government can say, sorry we can't afford a wage increase. Vs in the mostly non-unionized US where there is competition for nurses and wages are so much higher that it is pretty embarrassing that nurses actually agree to work here.

My own experience is also the exact opposite of what you assume. As a flight paramedic our wages were dreadful back in the old MOH days. After a decade of stagnant wages (unionized), Harris privatized us and our wages doubled in about four years (non-unionized). In fact Harris' experiment in for-profit care has been so costly and disasterous that they have spent several years trying to re-upload to keep costs under control. The remaining for-profit sector is still costing waaaayyyyy more.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

W.S. - I'll bow to your first-hand experience.

However, I've heard tales of people making $25 an hour for pushing a broom in the local hospital (from several sources).

Seems a bit much to me.

Anonymous said...

Again, it is all about management, and Harris did not do the firing of nurses. It was hospital admins who were told 'get on budget' so instead of cutting the cream off the top, the nurses were cut and it had desired effect...the public only saw the cut of nurses...and blamed Harris.
If your area costs have increased wayward I would suggest again that it is poor admin and a socialised system . Ambulances stacked with professional para meds are being used as taxi's.

No accountability, easy money from the nanny state government.

Anonymous said...

It gets worse Joanne. Take a cruise over to the Min. of Finance's public accounts and see that there are janitors within public school boards in the $100,000K club, also, directors of education, and senior staff/principals paid more than the premier of the province. How nuts is that?

Is that value for our taxdollar?

Richard said...

if the nurses union is truly keeping their wage down, why do they keep supporting it?

surely there must be a way to disolve a union?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Is that value for our taxdollar?

That's right. And that's just health care.

Check this out:

Public high school students who go on field trips to be charged fee to cover cost of classroom replacement

So now the parents will have to pay the teachers directly for substitute teachers!

How's that working for you?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sorry. Re: previous comment, forget first sentence, Anon. I see you were already talking about education there; and unions in general.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

What's the difference in McGuinty holding cute kids hostage for a photo op and the unions holding our schools and students hostage during their beefs with the governments?

He's at it again today. *Sigh*.

Wayward son said...

Joanne - "However, I've heard tales of people making $25 an hour for pushing a broom in the local hospital (from several sources)."

Well that is a good point. I have no idea how much janitors and kitchen staff are making at hospitals, but I have also heard that they are not hurting, although I honestly don't know.

anon - "Ambulances stacked with professional para meds are being used as taxi's."

This can be a problem in many areas.

anon - "If your area costs have increased wayward I would suggest again that it is poor admin and a socialised system."

I am not an expert on what goes on behind the scenes, but I would blame it on a poorly designed privitization experiment by the Harris Tories. In the case of wages, they needed to go up anyways. Paramedics were flooding out of the field to the Fire and Police departments. But the wages are not the reason why the costs have gone up and again it is the for-profit outfits where the costs have gone up the most.

The problem was two fold.
1) Years of low wages had created a situation where there was a massive shortage of advanced care and critical care paramedics. 2) The privitization scheme was set up in such a way that the for-profit companies had all the cards, and (in most cases) no responsibility. With the higher trained paramedics in such demand the companies who employed such paramedics could bid whatever they wanted and the government had no choice but to pay it. But things have been improving over the last two years. There is now a non-profit that has provided stability, while maintaining costs and improving care. At least in this sector I would say that Harris inherited a mess, he made it much worse, and the Liberals have stopped the bleeding.

"No accountability, easy money from the nanny state government."

Yes that was the way Harris changed it. But McGuinty has been changing it so that the non-profit has complete responsibility and accountability, and every single penny is accounted for. Again, I don't vote Liberal, but the Liberals have done the right thing in this case.

"if the nurses union is truly keeping their wage down, why do they keep supporting it?"

I can't speak for them, but I do know several nurses who worked in the US, made a lot of money but didn't like it. Wages are not everything. I am unionized now, but I could make 50% more working for one of the non-unionized for-profits. So why don't I go there? Simple we have a better work environment, a more stable work environment, better education opportunities etc. Both the management and the union seem to have improving patient care as their first priority and that is very refreshing.

paulsstuff said...

Wayward added his experience in,now I'll give mine.

Here in Ajax, the population has been growing at a great rate.The Rouge Valley hospital here has been virtually ignored by McGuinty. In fact twice in the last four years they tried to close the emergency wing to save costs forcing Ajax residents to travel into Scarborough for emergency services.

The whole problem, and the reason they backed down was because of the huge public backlash. And why do they need to cut costs here? Well, the number of administrators doing work at the hospital, those not actually part of the treatment of the patients has greatly increased. Add into that the number of those positions that now pay in excess of $100,000 a year and the picture gets clearer.

Now wayward, please answer me this. Aside from the fact Harris has been gone going on 7 years, where is the outrage over the federal Liberal's cutting $25 billion out of health care spending in order to tame the defecit, something that Harris is criticised for?

Accept reality, the "health tax" was named that as a pr move to try and cut McGuinty a little slack for his broken promise. In reality that money goes into general revenues where it is spent on such things as the Onrario Cricket Club!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

In reality that money goes into general revenues where it is spent on such things as the Onrario Cricket Club!

That's right. Only a nominal portion is ear-marked for health care. I have all kinds of links in previous posts to back that up.

Paul, how did you make out with the incorrect campaign literature?

paulsstuff said...

Hi Joanne.Took it into the office and they copied it and sent it to Tory's office.The woman also said they had other incedence of false info on campaign literature but were met with a deaf ear when pointing it out to the media.

The nice thing is here in Ajax,Whitby,Oshawa, they endorsed Tory for premier in the local paper. From everyone I talk to, it's going to be a lot closer than what polls indicate.

Either that, or nobody has the courage to say they are actually voting for the lyin' creep.

wayward son said...

“Now wayward, please answer me this. Aside from the fact Harris has been gone going on 7 years, where is the outrage over the federal Liberal's cutting $25 billion out of health care spending in order to tame the defecit, something that Harris is criticised for?”

Who says I give the Federal Liberals a free ride on cutting transfer payments? Furthermore I wasn’t criticizing Harris for cutting health care funding. I didn’t agree with either, but Canadians voted for both. There have been benefits through the taming of the budgets, but at the same time there have been severe long term consequences in regards to healthcare. People can come to their own conclusions. However, the privatization I am referring too was not done to save money – they knew it wouldn’t save money, and would likely cost significantly more - it was done due to ideology.

“Accept reality, the "health tax" was named that as a pr move to try and cut McGuinty a little slack for his broken promise. In reality that money goes into general revenues where it is spent on such things as the Onrario Cricket Club!”

Well as far as I know, the health tax raises about $2.6 billion a year. Health care spending is up by $8.5 billion a year.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The woman also said they had other incedence of false info on campaign literature but were met with a deaf ear when pointing it out to the media.

So I guess it's acceptable to put any thing you want on campaign literature and not be held accountable? Great.

The nice thing is here in Ajax,Whitby,Oshawa, they endorsed Tory for premier in the local paper. From everyone I talk to, it's going to be a lot closer than what polls indicate.

Good to hear. What's the name of your local paper?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

FYI - Sandy has a good post here on Teachers' unions.