Money alone inadequate

St. Boniface - Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - by: Mike Reilly

time and

More money for heath care from projected budget surpluses in itself offers no solution to the problems. In 2000, the Prime Minister agreed to a cash infusion to the provinces (on the eve of an election) and asked for time to recommend a fix to the system.




After nearly three years and several reports, including the Romanow Commission, he has again promised more money but no commitment to changes. While it's true federal funding must be increased, Canada's leaders must take a solid look at the system as a whole.




Like giving more money to someone with a gambling problem, increased funding alone will not provide a long-term remedy. The government must provide specific solutions for creating a sustainable 21st Century system for Canadians. Ottawa must address the issues of rising prescriptions drugs costs, provide methods for care of an aging population, support the increased costs of advanced technology and, equally important, reduce costs through illness prevention, better nutrition and education.




Without addressing the real issues of cost in the medical system, the provincial/federal battle over contribution amounts will continue year after year.




Canada needs new leaders unafraid to tackle tough issues with revolutionary ideas. Governments will never embrace real change as long as they are free to throw budget surpluses at problems and bury their heads in the sand again.




Mike Reilly



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