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Health care crumbling mess

Albertans have a big bone to pick about health care in this province, and that bone is tougher to swallow than any cookie, even though both share in common the fact they’re impossible to put down.

Albertans have a big bone to pick about health care in this province, and that bone is tougher to swallow than any cookie, even though both share in common the fact they’re impossible to put down.

Health care woes are stacking up faster than you can say, “I’m eating my cookie,” with Alberta Health Services’ list of bad decisions ranging from attempts to introduce bed closures to forcing long-term, committed patients at Alberta Hospital to buy their own small extras like ketchup, soap and tampons (both decisions AHS was thankfully forced to reverse). Strange but true, none of these or other boneheaded decisions was enough to see the head of Alberta Health Services (AHS), Stephen Duckett, fired until his condescension to lowly reporters when he brushed their questions off because he was enjoying a sweet treat.

But the problems with health care don’t lie with Duckett, or even with Premier Ed Stelmach and his Tory MLAs, who were the ones to decide to dismantle regional health boards in favour of the AHS superboard in the first place. The ultimate blame has to rest with voters who, for nearly 40 years now, have been continually voting in a Tory government. The Tories have made a string of questionable health care choices starting with Ralph Klein’s health care cuts in the 90s to the government’s latest action of suspending the one man in its ranks who actually has a personal and intimate knowledge of health care, being an ER doctor himself. That MLA, Raj Sherman, took the government to task for ‘failing” health care. The fact that Sherman felt compelled to speak publicly about this issue suggests he saw no other way to get through to his colleagues. If he can’t make them hear the messages that front line health care workers are eager to get out, then really, he is better off serving his constituents outside of the governing party.

The Tories have their heads stuck in the sand – they’re the ones that hired Duckett, they’re the ones that got rid of the regional health boards, and they’re the ones that are overseeing an iron-grip regime of turfing any of their own who questions the government’s decisions in a public manner.

But it’s the voters who have given the Tories the mandate to make these decisions, and in a truth sweeter than any cookie, the voters are also the ones with the power to take that mandate away.





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