Michael Ignatieff Iffy on Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams US Heart Surgery – Moncton New Brunswick – February 23, 2010

Liberal Hopeful Michael Ignatieff weighed into the Danny Williams surgery decision.     The Newfoundland premier chose to have heart surgery in the US which drew sharp criticism.

Mr. Ignatieff  interviewed in Moncton New Brunswick said that:

“…He would not have done it, but Michael Ignatieff feels Danny Williams’ decision to get health treatment in the US, is a personal decision.”

That’s pretty darn milquetoast if you ask me.  Either you stand behind medicare or you don’t.  Either you believe in its destruction or you don’t.  You either believe in a two tiered mess or you don’t.

It would be good to see a Federal leadership hopeful take a stand instead of poofting out non speak answers.

As I type this in Cornwall Ontario we’re facing cuts to services that we need in this city.   I for one want to support politicians that take tough and strong stands to protect medicare and to revitalize it.      It needs to be overhauled and saved; not personally chosen all willy nilly.

What do you think Cornwall and Canada?   Feel free to post your comments below.

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  1. Ignatieff is a politician who will say anything he thinks Canadians would expect, having said that he is scared to death of Danny Williams and he don’t want to ruffle Danny’s feathers.

  2. A two tiered mess you say, how about the first tier mess. Each province has a big say in what services are “listed”. If someone drives past Ottawa to Gatineau, you can pay for an EMI and get it the same day, and that reduces the number of people waiting for service here then.
    Sports teams have their own Doctors is that 2 tier?

    I am all for a base service available to all, but also for buying something you need as well.

  3. Author

    Eric that is the problem. Quebec shouldn’t be allowed to do that. Same is going on in Alberta. The Federal government is not enforcing the Medicare rules essentially. There is room for private care in health care. You can’t have health care without it, but it should be through the system at rates that make sense.

    How can you add a “profit” mode to a medical transaction and save the taxpayer money? That makes no sense. The concept of medicare is to have Universal health care for Canadians anywhere in Canada with savings to cost from the economies of scale.

    Now the system is corrupt in favor of insurance, drug, and medical companies. It’s totally wrong and needs to be drastically overhauled and people made accountable.

  4. We are short on doctor’s already. What happens when the rich folk are able to pay extra for top-notch service? Let’s be honest, doctor’s don’t becomes doctor’s for the love of helping people. That’s naive. They want get rich. So they will clearly go where the money is, leaving the working class to fight it out over the leftovers, waitng in line for 2nd class service. Private health care is an injustice to the working class, and now we have supposed “liberal” leaders rubbing our nose in it. All humans deserve the same level of service, regardless of personal income or political stature.

  5. Author

    I don’t think Doctors become Doctors purely for money. When you have to go to school for as long as they do and work as hard as they do I don’t begrudge them money. Doctors I don’t believe a the biggest factor by far when it comes to the ills of our Medicare system. I think we can offer better healthcare within the medicare system.

    Recently we had a hospital visit. We had the option to pay for a semi or private room. Sometimes you have the option to pay for a better tool or device when you’re treated. All of this should be within the system and nobody should ever see an item cheaper at retail in the US than we pay for it via the “system” here in Canada as it is in Ontario with CPAP equipment for sleep apnea as an example.

  6. The Ottawa hospital and Monfort are swamped because of Quebec residents not having the same access to helathcare in western Que, but Quebec pays less than Ontario, so you are right about lack of controls.
    Adding profit need not be a dirty word, staff in the clinics may not be paid the same and they often try to keep other costs lower leaving the total bill the same. Richer people already buy additional insurance, should that be stopped?
    Doctors and nurses are already going to the states, how do we lessen that?
    We have universal pensions as well, but are clawed back once you reach a certain income, injustice is all around.
    I think we need serious discussions on subjects like this because current costs (and methods) are becoming out of reach of the many people that need help.

  7. Jamie, he broke no laws whatsoever, his going to the US does not amount to any threat to our Medicare system. In fact, instead of circumventing the line as some other politicians did, he did the right thing and went elsewhere for his care, and did not further burden an already slow working health system. I give him credit for that. And anyone that has had any sort of heart condition knows full well you want to get that taken care of as quickly as possible.

    Now had he have paid to get to the head of the line in our Canadian Medicare system, that would have been a different story.

    But all in all, this says a lot about our Medicare system to say the least. Where someone HAS to travel to another country to get the care they need in a timely manner. That is what’s not right about this whole situation. Here we even pay extra Health Premiums (not a tax but a tax, thanks Dalton), and we cannot even get the aid we need in a timely manner in Ontario. So I agree, our Medicare system needs an overhaul, instead of me hearing how billions disappeared into an e-health scandal that no one benefited from except for government cronies.

  8. Eric: What’s an EMI? I know EMI as the Beatles’ recording company at Abbey Road. Do you mean MRI?

    Destructo: The rich will always have superior choice in all things, and especially in matters of survival. Surely the point is that it’s up to the rest of us, and above all the politicians we elect, to make sure the healthcare available to us is the best it can be.

  9. Author

    Grimalot I have no issue with Mr. Williams travelling anywhere in the world for medical assistance. I do with Mr. Ignatieff playing poofy politics with such a non answer.

    Question. In this case Premier Williams went to an apparent better medical facility. What about Meditourism where people go to 3rd world countries for cheaper procedures?

    What happens if they return to Canada and because of faulty work or simple complications it ends up costing taxpayers thousands? Should our system be on the hook for that type of situation?

  10. Author

    Eric how is it unfair to claw back or tax income even if from pensions? We all should be paying a fair tax. Sadly those that should rarely do due to loopholes and the way the system is set up.

    Medicare needs an a-z overhaul. There should be simple core principles. Basic Universal Healthcare delivered on an Econcomy of scale so as to save the taxpayer as much money as possible without lessening the quality of care.

  11. Liberal Hopeful Michael Ignatieff Milquetoast continues to pooft-out non-speak answers. He still hasn’t got a clue! According to Danny Williams, the surgery he received in the U.S. was not available here in Canada were our surgical procedures seem to border on the neanderthal. So instead of having his sternum cracked open to have the valve repaired, he chose to have a minimally invasive operation in which surgeons went into his chest through the right side of his ribcage. The surgery left him with a two-to-three-inch scar. Why is it that surgeons seem to learn new ways of doing things in the U.S. leaving us in Canada looking live cavemen?

  12. Author

    Stan do you know how many hours of training it takes before a procedure becomes main stream? There are plusses and minuses to our system. On the whole I don’t think there’s a better one in the world unless money is no object. Most people could not afford or get the procedure that Premier Williams received without really really good health insurance.

  13. If they exit the country, and get a procedure done while out of country, if they are a Canadian Citizen, then as far as I am concerned, they should have access to the health care. Now, if for example, they have problems and attempt to circumvent the lineup, that I have a problem with. But if they go through normal channels, then no problem with that.

    Fact is, some people can be placed for years on a waiting list before getting the help they need. So what’s ethical? Leaving them on this waiting list for years where they will have the possibility of dying while they wait for the procedure? Or getting the procedure done out of country and possibly right away?

    Fact is, that if these massive amounts of money we were paying to the government and hospitals was put to actual good, and EFFICIENT use, then more likely then not, we wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place.

    But while I read about all the cuts to hospital beds and doctors, while the administration are sitting in their cushy jobs, that tells me a lot to this story here in Canada.

    I tell you one thing, if I ever have to go on a waiting list for a procedure that I would need to save my life, and I had a choice between a year + waiting on that list, and I could get that life saving procedure done somewhere else, and if I had the money to do so, well, I can bet you where I would be!

    And what else do you want Ignatieff to say? he’s right. That was Danny Williams personal decision. Theres nothing iffy about that. So long as no rules were broken here in Canada, again, more power to him (Mr. Williams)! And thanks to him for not burdening our Health Care system further as far as I’m concerned.

  14. grimalot, your logic is right on. If we can’t make personal choices, what kind of society are we living in?

  15. Eric: Yes, Magnetic Resonance Imaging = MRI

  16. I guess I was a little off topic,being more concerned about the privatization of our own system as opposed to going outside of it for care. My gripe was not so much about the current state of our sytem but with where it is headed. Our system undoubtedly needs a full revamp from top to bottom, and my biggest concern is equal treatment for all. If you get a private room, I get a private room.

    As far as “profit not being a dirty word” (Eric), I think it is when it comes to public services. The Americans live with a “for profit” system, and trust me, you don’t want to spend a night in the hospital there. Sure the wealthy have insurance, and some of us working stiffs get it too. I have very good coverage through work, and it saved me alot of suffering. As a matter of fact, without it, I would not have been able to afford the time off work to have multiple surgeries (due to a screw up by a local surgeon…out of a brief moment of kindness he shall remain nameless). Imagine if I didn’t have that insurance? My quality of life would be drastically lower. Now what about those without insurance? Should they be forced to suffer through life because they can’t afford insurance for themselves and their family? We need a comprehensive medical system that forgoes the need for insurance, and provides quality health care for all.

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    I agree with you Destructo and what’s frustrating is that when you scratch the surface you realize how much the Canadian taxpayer is being victimized by the Medical system and our government, which ever is in power as this isn’t a partisan issue.

    If we’re getting 25 cents on the dollar we’re lucky. It’s not the doctors fault; it sure isn’t the nurses fault. It’s our fault for allowing the political system to do this to us. We all have choices to make in life. We have to choose how to spend our money. Well we as citizens of Canada, Ontario, and even Cornwall vote to put people in charge to do our bidding. I want the medicare system to work and to be accountable because I myself was nearly a victim of it and I know far too many people who have been victims of it. It’s time to take back control of our tax dollars and how they’re spent; especially when it comes to medicare.

    $500K per solider overseas? $50Million for an inquiry? Millions if not billions spent on some of the wackiest stuff that you know you just couldn’t justify in the non-governmental world and no money for prostheics or pacemakers in Cornwall? Methinks not.

  18. PJR, we almost cannot make personal choices these days without someone thinking something about it. Especially with the government creeping more and more into our own homes and personal lives every day that goes on. We unfortunately are raising a society of idiots on that matter.

    You almost cannot take anything into your own hands anymore without someone stepping in on the matter. Take children for example, you cannot reprimand them for something without fear they will go and sick the CAS on you now. So what do we have? Out of control children that cannot take no for an answer, knowing that the government and the system will back them up. And who made that possible, the government.

    Then you have the government, telling us what we can and cannot do with our bodies, our social lives, etc. Again, say willy nilly about it and then you have some other tool, usually an authority figure, stepping in on that. (memories of the song, Signs, if you haven’t heard it, you should listen to it sometime).

    Society is being regulated these days to an extreme. Apathy is brewing from it, because many feel the government and special bodies that govern, will not listen to them anyways. And so now we have the problem with people not even voting, or just voting for who their parents vote for, etc. All because they cannot research issues at hand and make up their own minds on what they feel is right. Again, all caused by years of government hooplah!. Remember even 10-15-20 years ago? It wasn’t like that, it was starting to get worse at that time though. But then take in hand 20 or 30 + years ago, or even 40-50 years ago, and things were not like this at all. People were voting, they were researching issues at hand, and were actually actively involved in trying to do something about it. You don’t see that anymore today.

    Society as a whole is headed down a horrible path at the moment. Something needs to be done YESTERDAY about all these issues. Or things will get a lot worse yet!

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