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Thursday, August 20, 2009 

Conservative Ideology Led To Medical Isotope Mess In Canada

Canada's right wing Conservative government holds an ideological belief that health care should be delivered by the private sector for profit. As a result, they have not been good administrators of Canada's existing public health care system. Proof of that came when they were blasted by the outgoing Chair of the Canadian Medical Association:

SASKATOON — Canada's Conservative government has mishandled the medical isotopes crisis, the Canadian Medical Association's outgoing president charged Wednesday.

"The federal government didn't play the role it should have played there," Dr. Robert Ouellet said after the association passed numerous motions prodding the government to dive back into the isotope business.

The association called on the federal government to retain a leading role in providing medical isotopes for the world, and reconsider a decision to back away from isotope production.

Delegates at the association's annual meeting in Saskatoon passed five motions they said they hope will help turn around a shortage of medical radioisotopes for diagnostic tests.

The anger and worry about the government's handling of the nuclear reactor shutdown in Chalk River, Ont., and subsequently cancelled medical tests was palpable from doctors who spoke at the meeting.

"There was a warning a year-end-a-half ago when the Chalk River reactor went wrong. They didn't provide any views on what will come in the future. And this reactor is 53 years old," Ouellet said.

The Vancouver Sun

The Conservatives were handed a mucked up facility by the Liberals, yet they had time to fix it. They played politics with it and perhaps have always had an agenda to get out of the supply side of isotopes.

McMaster has a solution, one that had they taken it up, would have seen isotope supply being created right here in Canada.

You are totally correct that the Federal Libs also bear some responsibility for this medical mess. It is a knee jerk reaction for Conservatives (Reformers) to always look for a market solution to every problem. (And they call the 'left' ideological!)

Isn't it standard operating procedure for the Conservatives to blame the previous government?

Three years and they did nothing beneficial to Chalk River. Indeed, the made it all worse with firings and supression of vital data from public or committee scrutiny.

They are also running away from positions they've held during recent years--the HST being one of them.

"Isn't it standard operating procedure for the Conservatives to blame the previous government?"

It is standard for all "new" Govt's to do this. McGuinty in Ontario is still blaming Mike Harris and its been six or seven years since the PC's were in power.

The Harper Government has had time (3 years and running) to address the isotope issue.

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