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COTE'S COMMENTS | The healthcare system is in crisis mode

'There needs be more cooperation and commitment between the two levels of senior governments'

Perhaps one of the uppermost concerns for many in this country is the goings on in the healthcare system. Those currently requiring the services of that system are experiencing firsthand the negative effects of the issues besetting healthcare in Canada.

To be clear, I don’t profess to have solutions to the issues facing the system, but feel the reports coming from that sector are increasingly alarming.

For instance, the number of healthcare personnel leaving employment in the system is most alarming. And what’s worse is that they're not being replaced. Reportedly, some emergency departments have had to shut their doors and patients had to transport to other communities to address their medical issues requiring immediate treatment.

At one time this country’s healthcare system was likely the envy of many western countries and served as a model for some. Tommy Douglas, known as the father of socialized medicine, might well be turning in his grave to observe the current disfigurements in the system.

The Covid virus exacerbated and made more clear the issues being faced by the system. Prior to the virus invading and overwhelming nearly all the components of the system, it was barely coping as it was. Now with the coronavirus and its variants in full blossom some healthcare experts say it may be near collapse.

According to many provincial politicians, one of the issues is the lack of funds from the federal level of government. Currently, the federal government provides approximately 20 percent of all healthcare costs and the provincial leaders are demanding the federal government increase this to 35 percent with no strings attached. However the central government believes that he who pays the Piper calls the tune or at least some part of it. The federal government has established a number of healthcare priorities and improvements that the provinces should address if any increased funding is to be provided. The provincial leaders are united in resisting what they believe to be an infringement on what has been established as their independent responsibility for healthcare in their provinces.

There has been some recent progress in resolving that issue but it has delayed any agreement between the federal and provincial governments. That, in turn, has added to the crisis in healthcare in this country.

So what is the solution to saving our system from the disaster of a collapse? As stated earlier, the solution to avoid that terrible outcome is well beyond my pay grade. But one thing seems clear. There needs be more cooperation and commitment between the two levels of senior governments to resolve the unsettling issues if the public healthcare system is to survive. Only then will we see a peaceful and effective solution to this looming crisis in our beloved country.