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Sudbury letters: Public health care needed more than ever; economy’s health important also

Posted: March 27, 2020

(March 26, 2020)

By: Sudbury Star

Now is the time to invest in public health care

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the extent to which our individual health is dependent on the health of everyone in our community. Public health care is our best defense against this crisis and others like it.

However, our ability to endure crises and care for each other has been eroded through decades of austerity budgets, privatization and inadequate planning. Even during “normal times,” the health care system is at capacity.

While health-care workers and communities are struggling to support each other, corporate interests are trying to profit. This must be resisted. The solution is not privatization. Instead, we should be strengthening universal health care and our collective ability to care for one another.

As governments ramp up efforts to address the current crisis, health coalitions across Canada are calling for them to resist privatization and to uphold the foundational principles of equity and compassion that underlie our public health care system.

We call upon all levels of government to work together to reclaim and increase the capacity of our public health-care system to:

Address existing health inequities by removing barriers to access and scaling up services for marginalized communities.

Restore capacity in our public hospitals by reopening facilities and beds that have been closed due to funding cuts and downsizing, and expand capacity under public and non-profit hospital governance.

Follow the lead of Spain and bring for-profit health-care facilities under public control to enable a rapid and streamlined response in the public interest.

Improve supports for health-care workers, including by adopting the strongest protective standards, enhancing recruitment and retention, and giving workers the resources and equipment they need.

Ensure that all services are available free and delivered publicly, including testing, vaccination, hospital stays and telehealth.

Now more than ever, we need a universal, public health care system that puts patients before profits, that prioritizes the health of everyone living in Canada and that honours and respects the principles of the Canada Health Act.

We cannot allow this crisis to be used to dismantle universal, public health care in Canada. Instead, we must renew our commitment to a system based not on profit, but instead on the shared belief that health care is a human right.

Signatories Ontario Health Coalition Alternatives North (NWT) BC Health Coalition Canadian Health Coalition Coalition solidarité santé Friends of Medicare (Alberta) Health Coalition of Newfoundland & Labrador Manitoba Health Coalition Nova Scotia Health Coalition PEI Health Coalition

Health of our economy is important as well

In 1902 it was written in The Sudbury Star that “a University of Toronto doctor cited the ignorance and stubbornness as the key factors behind the minimal progress made in fighting smallpox cited in the city of Sudbury, many or all these could have been prevented by vaccinations, according to Dr. C.A. Hodgetts. He also blamed the inability of many northern doctors to properly diagnose and treat the disease for its rampant spread through pioneer districts and logging towns.”

It seems that pandemics have been around for centuries and the ingenuity of man has prevailed and life eventually went on its way successfully until the recent blip.

Our doctors and nurses have learned well, which gives us comfort that the COVID-19 virus will be defeated just as many others have in the past. There is no need to panic or be overly concerned as the current generation has dealt with polio, Spanish Flu and others that have proven to be manageable and it will able to invoke the upper hand.

Let’s get some ideas as to how we can accelerate the recovery of the economy in as quick a manner as possible. We must all support businesses as much as possible to return to prosperity for all.

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