I hope my title for this post, ‘Canada Under Harper’, wasn’t as bad for you as it was for me. A psychiatrist could write a pithy journal article about the nasty movie-clip that just played in my head.
To understand where the Harper Government is planning to go, you have to know where Stephen Harper has been. About ten years before his minority government first assumed power in Canada, Stephen Harper said, “Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it.”
“Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it.”
– Stephen Harper 1997
Knowing that this is one of Harper’s core beliefs, it’s not at all surprising that the Harper Government’s 2012 Budget and the now infamous Budget Implementation Bill C–38 included changes to OAS (Old Age Security), is it?
Q: What’s next for Canada under Harper?
A: Could it be the your healthcare, specifically the Canada Health Act? After all, the Harper Government has already mucked with Health Transfer Payments to the provinces and territories, so we can’t rule out even more sinister changes. Is the Harper Government already encouraging a two-tiered system, one for the rich and another for the rest of us? Will they… ?
Healthcare is very expensive, so it’s a natural target for Stephen Harper’s bean counters, but privatization and a two-tiered system is definitely NOT the answer.
Q: What is the best way to deal with rising health care costs?
A: Canadians would be best served if our government:
- focused on community-based, wellness promotion and prevention
- established multidisciplinary, diagnostic clinics, led by nurses, to offer help when prevention has failed and lastly,
- allowed doctors and hospitals to do what they do best, but doctors should be the last step, not the first.
We should also consider dumping fee-for-service, but more on that another time…