It’s been said that “one week can seem like a lifetime in politics”. For the boys and girls who make decisions on our behalf in Ottawa, it’s been more than ten months since the ‘regime change’ that sent Stephen Harper on his way, and school will soon be reconvening.
The Conservatives are trying to find some momentum and excitement in the job of finding a new leader, but the morsels they have found in Justin Trudeau’s trash pile have been pretty meagre. Jane Philpott, the minister of health, is suffering the death of a thousand cuts right now over the improper use of limousines and airport lounges. In the middle of skiing season, those stories probably wouldn’t last 24 hours, but it’s August.
Meanwhile, Dr. Philpott said some interesting things about our health-care system this week that should have received greater attention. Speaking to a Canadian Medical Association clambake in Vancouver, she addressed the widely-believed myth that Canada has the best system in the world, and she said it just ain’t true.
She said that as a country, we spend more per capita on health care than many other nations but the results aren’t what they should be.
Britain and Australia spend less per capita on health than Canada does, and they appear to have done a better job of co-ordinating care. There are ongoing talks on a new health agreement between Ottawa and the provinces and Philpott sees it as a chance to set health care on a new and better course. If she’s not ridden out of town by the Ethics Commissioner, or the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the good doctor should be in great shape to lead those discussions since she’ll be either riding a bike or taking public transit, and staying away from big shiny cars.
Let’s cut to the chase, please.
I’m Roger Currie