Nurses for Safe Renewable Power

Looking for a healthy environment for everyone

Health care being savaged in Ontario: where is the RNAO?

While the McGuinty government continues to offer huge subsidies from taxpayer dollars for giant–and in many cases, not Canadian– corporations involved in wind power development (the subsidies for industrial wind turbines run about $500,000 per turbine per year, but can be higher), the government is looking to cut costs in other areas, particularly health care.

The government has literally gone to war with Ontario’s doctors, and is slashing payments from the provincial insurance plan for basic tests, such as ECGs. It seems that bureacurats at the Ministry of Health will be determining whether tests are medically necessary. We’ve seen this before … in the United States.

The government has calculated the risk: by portraying doctors as overpaid fat cats, they hope to get public opinion on their side. But the risk to Ontario’s health care system is very real. By not allowing doctors to order basic tests like ECGs for example, information on people’s health status will not be available to them.

More information is available here:

The question is, because the RNAO seems determined to portray itself as a politically active organization, it is has inserted iteslf into debates on issues such as wind power generation (which is preposterous and influenced by a group of organizations with a very interesting agenda–in any event, coal is GONE now), where is the RNAO on this issue? Will the professional association for Ontario’s nurses follow its new slogan “Speaking up for health” or will it continue to slavishly follow the edicts of its pal, the McGuinty government.

We’re watching.

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2 thoughts on “Health care being savaged in Ontario: where is the RNAO?

  1. hobbesian on said:

    As I understand it, the doctors (quite well paid, by the way) are complaining; the govt. wants to start a service whereby elderly people who would prefer to remain in their own homes, but would need a little care each day, can have a trained person; this takes money to train and to pay for the attendants to do this work; There is only so much money Ontario gets for health; we cannot pay for both the raises for the docs and the low wages for the home-visitors; so obviously the docs want that money given to them, to bring their salaries even higher.

    • This is exactly the type of response Premier McGuinty hoped for: he picks on a group of people that ordinary citizens see as already privileged, sidelines them, and makes them the “bad guy” in the story.
      Doctors are not the bad guys here, the government is. Sure, some practices like self-referral need looking at but the doctors had asked for a pay freeze while workign with the government of cost-saving measures that would not cut services. The province walked away and began their anti-doctor media campaign, which appears to have been very effective.
      Because our interest is in the money being spent on Ontario’s disastrous renewable energy plan, we know how much money is being spent…at the expense of health care and education, and other strategies that would truly offer long-term help for Ontario.

      The Auditor General for Ontario, Jim McCarter, in his December 2011 report noted that as for industrial-scale wind power there has been no business case study done for the wide-scale implementation of this technology, and that the government has furthermore not been open about the potential for health effects from the environmental noise produced by these machines.
      Are you aware that the subsidies being paid to the huge corporations are on the order of $500,000 per year, per turbine?
      Plans for a hospital in West LIncoln were abandoned because the government said it doesn’t have the $125 million. And yet, it will be paying subsidies for a wind power project in that area…the subsidies being paid would mean that a hospital could have been built there every two years for TWENTY years!

      While Ontario is trying to make doctors look like fat cats, permenant damage is being done to our economy:
      -“green” jobs are being subsidized on the order of $187,000 per job, per year
      -electricity rates are climbing at an alarming rate…this will cause job losses and be a social determinant in poverty and reduced health status
      -the “green” jobs being created (are you aware that a student job soliciting door-to-door for Environmental Defence counts as a “green” job?) are temporary and typically in construction
      -wind power will not replace coal, and we are currently using coal for just 2.7% of our power

      Once again, this is a complicated issue but as with everything connected to this government, the government “spin” is not necessarily the truth.
      Thank you for commenting.
      Nurses for Safe Renewable Power

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