2007/04/09

Harper's Wait Times Scam

Stephen Harper has reached a new low in trying to hoodwink Canadians with his so-called success in securing wait time guarantees from the provinces.Harper claims to have fulfilled another of his five priorities. Well, this boat won't float. The deal does not come into effect until 2010, and provinces only have to promise timely treatment in one of several priority areas:
Cancer care
Hip and knee replacement
Cardiac care
Diagnostic imaging
Cataract surgeries


The Conservatives had promised in the last federal election campaign that they would ensure guarantees in all of the above areas. Their new agreement with the provinces proves to be a sham when you take a look at what the provinces have actually committed to. To take one example, Ontario is promising that by 2009, patients who cannot obtain cataract surgery within 182 days will be given the opportunity to receive treatment outside the province. However, the current average wait for cataract surgery in Ontario is 183 days -- just one day longer than the target. And it's a somewhat similar situation for other provinces. They have picked areas and targets which they already meet.

This falls far short of the comprehensive improvement in wait times that the Conservatives promised during the last election. As Andrew Coyne put it in the National Post, Harper has learned to lie shamelessly in the expectation that the public doesn't care. Well, here's hoping that voters do care and will express their frustration at the ballot box.

1 comment:

John Joy said...

The Cons think Canadians are naive. They are counting on the failure of Dion to gain traction to help get them a majority. But the SES poll just released suggests that Canadians are not buying the Conservative spin.