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Friday, June 15, 2012 

“Medicare is so central to our national narrative that how we reform it will determine the future nature of our country,” Former Sask Premier RoyRomanow

“Medicare is so central to our national narrative that how we reform it will determine the future nature of our country,”
Roy Romanow

Medicare needs strong federal vision 

The unifying force medicare has played in Canada is being eroded by Ottawa’s decision to make health care transfer payments to the provinces without overall national goals attached, former premier Roy Romanow says.
“The federal government is out of the picture and this opens the door to huge disparities. I don’t think that’s the way you build a modern day health care plan and for sure it’s not a way to build a more unified, progressive and strong Canada,” Romanow said after speaking to a public policy conference at the University of Saskatchewan on the future of medicare.
Canada needs a national vision for health care to prevent provinces with greater wealth benefiting from enhanced care while poorer provinces receive less, Romanow said.
“This not only makes a disparate national program, but it raises the prospect of a dis-unifying dimension to Canadian unity, which is always a very important aspect of Canada’s life.
A country as spread out and diverse as Canada won’t have identical care everywhere but it should have programs to ensure “roughly similar principles and quality of outcomes as a right of citizenship,” he said.
“I would like to see our premiers generally, take the position of standing up to Mr. Harper and saying, ‘Look, we want a federal-provincial conference. We want to talk about these costs-driver factors. We want to see what the new programs are, which can ease the cost and improve our health care and we want a public debate about it.’
With the federal government “unwilling to take a role for itself” in shaping medicare, premiers are left “scurrying to ‘innovate,’” Romanow said.
“You have 10 premiers, 10 different economies, local circumstances, varying ideologies, how are you going to bring this all together — since the flood of technology and drugs keep coming on stream — in a cohesive, coherent fashion?”
Medicare began 50 years ago with the federal government transferring 50 per cent of health budgets to provinces with conditions that all agree to similar objectives as to what that funding will achieve.
“Medicare is so central to our national narrative that how we reform it will determine the future nature of our country,” Romanow said.
-Saskatoon Star Phoenix

So many leaders have come forward to criticise Harper and his policies but he continues on his way of ignoring reasoned discussion in favour of his own tunnel-vision Republicanism for this country.

Canada is suffering for it. Harper continues to drag the entire nation down and devalue the "currency" of
Canadian prestige on the world stage.

I can't wait until we get a leader who inspires people. Even David Cameron of the UK, Angela Merkel,and Francois Hollande are streets ahead of Harper.

A change of government can't come soon enough for me.

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