Friday, September 23, 2022

Health before wealth

Picture this: You’re on a boat, it has a hole in it and is taking on water.
You have two options.
Option one: you could repair the hole and stop the boat from sinking.
Option two: you could hire someone to come and poke more holes in the boat.
It’s hard to imagine anyone not choosing the first option. The second one doesn’t make any sense and would only make the problem worse. The only one who benefits is the company getting paid to make the problem worse.
Unfortunately for New Brunswickers, this seems to be the preferred approach of Premier Higgs when it comes to health care.
Our system is the boat and instead of dealing with the issue – not enough people working in health care – his preferred method is to try and privatize more portions which will result in an increased drain of professionals to the private system from the public sector.
To be fair, the lack of workers is a problem years in the making spanning numerous governments. For decades the unofficial motto of the public health care system should have been, ‘Do more with less.’
Year after year, the number of people working in health dwindled, but the professionalism and dedication of the workers would not allow the system to fail. However, cracks in the foundation were forming.
The COVID-19 pandemic shone a bright light on those cracks. Already working past what would be considered normal, the pandemic upped the hours, strain, and hardship on workers. This was increased when the Premier removed all pandemic protections.
Numerous groups representing the workers have spoken out about the issues which has covered everything from emergency room closures to delays in surgeries. No matter the issue, it all connects back to not enough workers in the system.
Privatizing more parts of health care will only exacerbate the drain of professionals, the equivalent of paying a company to poke more holes in the boat.
We need to keep our health care system public. The province has the funds to make an impact by recruiting and retaining more health care workers.
Enriching companies to the detriment of the health of New Brunswickers is not the right way forward.
We need to put health before wealth.