Monday, April 18, 2016

Things That Matter - Election Day

My blog, for the most part, is autobiographical.  It is simply about our life as a family.  At times it seems more like a reality show, but I guess that is just the way we roll.   As I have learned to be an advocate for my family members I have encountered many barriers in our health care system.  When I share our story I hope to be able to provide some context and some “real-life” examples of what is going on in health care from the patient/caregiver perspective.

The first thing you realize when you start messing around in the inner workings of health care is that health care is political.  It is a political tool in which governments (especially provincial gov’ts) wield a tremendous amount of power.  This is why over the past few weeks several of my blog posts have taken on a decidedly political tone.

I have met a lot of amazing people during these past 2 years as I have become increasingly involved in the political process.  Some wonder where it all started.  It all started in March of 2014.  You have one person to thank for my political musings and that is our former Health Minister Erin Selby.  Her despicable comments about the Pediatric Cardiology Inquest sparked a media firestorm.  It also inspired an angry email (from me) to the Winnipeg Sun.

My Progressive Conservative Party membership was purchase the same week.  Ms Selby is someone who truly represents what is wrong in politics.  I was reminded of Ms Selby’s “Dead Baby” comments this past Saturday when our Premier repeated this vile approach to politics and stated, if elected, the PCs would take away cancer drugs.  I don’t know who thought of this morally de-void comment but they should be fired. If it was Mr Selinger himself, the people of Manitoba will have their say tomorrow.

The comments by Ms Selby were personal.  It was an attack on families who were wronged by the health care system.  It was an attack on the very people who care for my son. I can well imagine the outrage that people who depend on very expensive cancer treatments felt about the Premier’s comments.  I would have hoped the NDP had learned their lesson.  Apparently not.

There is an old saying that is often associated with Winnipeg’s North End and is a socialist mantra.  “People before Profit.” This is a saying the NDP have gravitated to when distinguishing itself as a champion of the poor and the working class.  It is a noble sentiment, however after 17 years of power the Manitoba NDP has forgotten about its working class roots and has opted for “Politics over People”

Tomorrow is Election Day.  A celebration of democracy.  If we elect a PC government; will all of the problems of health care be solved?  Not at all.  After 17 years in the political wilderness my hope is that a new government will have a mandate to initiate change and finally put the priorities of patients over politics.  Time will tell. 

This election matters to me because I have been on the front lines of people suffering.  ER wait times are not a statistic to me.  I’ve lived them.  A shortage of services is just not a catch phrase to me; it is a part of our everyday life.  Everything that I have ever written about that relates to health care has been impacted by the politics of health care.  

I’m hoping to be celebrating tomorrow night but part of me is somewhat depressed.  An election win does not solve anything.  On April 20th there will still be people suffering from dementia.  Someone will go to CancerCare and get a diagnosis that will change their life.  A new baby will be born with autism.  Someone will die waiting for an organ donation.  That is the world I live in.  On April 20th we have to start doing more for these people.  Those are the things that matter.

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