Friday, October 21st, 2016

Organized Medicine and Labour Well Represented at Alberta Town Hall on Medicare


The heads of the Canadian Medical Association, the Alberta Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association and a former president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees all served as panelists at the Edmonton town hall on rebuilding Medicare held on March 29, 2011. Although it didn’t turn out to be as interesting as other recent events involving Alberta doctors, there are a few excerpts of comments and questions from the audience worth mentioning.

Town hall comments that make you go hmmm…

The drug companies don’t need to make a profit. (nurse)
Really? If drug companies don’t make a profit how will they continue to research, develop and produce new and existing drugs? Let’s not forget that nurses make a personal profit from health care each time they cash a paycheck. Are they willing to reduce their personal profits?

Private business isn’t always more efficient. (president of Health Sciences Association of Alberta)
Private businesses competing in a free market are forced to pay attention to their profits and losses. They are made to be more efficient in order to remain competitive and profitable otherwise they lose customers, money and eventually go out of business.

Town hall questions that make you go hmmm…

Governments are not good at running businesses especially health care, isn’t this where the conversation should start? (man)

What can doctors do now to help fix the political system that they were complicit in establishing? (woman)

These questions didn’t receive much attention but are very telling. Patients are tired of being powerless pawns of a government-run health care system used for election purposes and contract negotiations. The self-interests of politicians, professional associations and unions have long overshadowed the interests of patients. Public inquiries, commissions, special committees, and reports all come and go and nothing changes. It’s up to us, as patients, to represent our own best interests. The next town hall is scheduled for April 27 in Vancouver. See you there.

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