I Get My “Money For Nothin' An' My Cheques For Free”
Health Consumer Speaks out
Contrary to being productive, I am burden to society, according to the
conventional societal mindset; thus, my value is often challenged: my
lack thereof, as a member of the community.
although I'm not officially "employed," I do have what basically
amounts to a job or jobs. Indeed, I contribute to society, albeit in a
produces no independent pay-cheque.
I can recall
one psychologist saying that, according to the "being employed"
mindset dominant in our society, Jesus Christ and Mohandas Gandhi must
been failures, for they were not "employed." Of course, there are
many who'd react indignantly to this analogy: "How can you compare
yourself with Christ and Gandhi?" Nonetheless, if I may use an analogy
justify the above-mentioned analogy: one of the two lines may be a
than the other, but they are both definitely parallel.
Yes, I have
the necessary knowledge to be employable; but I do not have, among
employability qualities, the under-pressure-coping skills that are
Social Services perceives and treats me in a manner that says, "Hey, if
you're physically intact, you should be digging ditches."
as a formidable hindrance to my employability: I cannot help but try,
to perfect my job performance; and the more I attempt to do so, the
more I seem
to screw up -- thus angering my employer, which results in greater
my self-esteem and confidence being chopped away.
But the way I see it, sooner or later it won't matter anymore, anyway.
current direction and rate-of-change of society's fiscal ideology,
"Tax Cuts All Around," I believe that our social safety net will
eventually disintegrate until it is but a shell of its former,
to the prevailing contemporary libertarian philosophy and prevalent
moral-relativism, only the fully employed and the wealthiest will
According to this line of thought, I, propagating that all
people should share in what the world has to offer, am the
immoral party. With today's dog-eat-dog capitalist mentality, up is
down, and white is actually black. Also, I've noticed that, with rare
exceptions, as a person acquires great wealth, the more compelled that
feels to amass even greater wealth.
It's not only sad, but it's also quite frightening.
may be why contemporary mainstream-party politicians (including the
in BC, at least when they're in power), while strongly supportive of
health-care and education funding, find it politically necessary to
themselves from the social services (that proverbial third leg of the
tri-legged chair) or (the pejorative-term) “welfare” ministry. For, as
bluntly put it in political perspective, "Everybody tends to hate the
not that much respite for the handicap-status welfare recipient.
resentment toward those of us with the $45 annual bus pass, regardless
fact that the bus-pass holder may be much too nervous and too
drive him or herself around, let alone have to deal with the plethora
reckless drivers and road-raged maniacs out there.
it's true about general human nature: that it's difficult to feel
empathy/sympathy for the less fortunate unless one endures the
bitter fruit of life for him or herself. It appears that if we cannot
the misfortune, we subconsciously question whether it really exists.
that day when the mentally-ill and unfortunate begin to really matter
to all of
society -- until that day when humanity can manage to obey but one of
Commandments, "Love thy Neighbour" -- this world will remain for many
a place antithetical to the longed-for utopian society.
G. Sterle, Jr.
see that the Liberals' priority is to spend our money on a
technological propaganda gimmick and to subsidize a jocks' exhibition
for the rich rather than to support health care for the average
"The Times Colonist reports that the
Island Health Authority hasto cut its budget ("Island
health takes a
hit"). Our Liberal government's policy wonks spent $54 million on their
failed web site and committed $600 million and counting for the
Olympics, but they can't find money to keep from increasing
the waiting lists for surgery.
It is scary to see that all of the future planning by VIHA is on how to
cut the budget, privatize and contract out. Nothing about patient care.
It reveals their priorities and outlook.
Health Ads Just More
Government health care ads
running in newspapers across the province this past week are a clear
taxpayers that the BC Liberals have abandoned their New Era election
"eliminate wasteful spending on government propaganda."
Over the last two years, this
government has spent millions on ad campaigns designed to get out the
"facts" on their health care policies.
Taxpayers have every right to
wonder if this is the best use of scarce health care dollars,
cuts to long-term care and home support programs, higher Pharmacare
longer surgery waiting lists and closed hospitals.
The public should also be
concerned about the quality of information provided in the latest round
Government claims that health
support workers earn up to 30 per cent more than their counterparts,
example, have a limited shelf life.
That's because this fall, as
a result of privatization, thousands of health support workers at
health facilities that serve our entire province.
In fact, they'll earn 30 per
cent less than the national average. Decades of progress towards pay
will be lost as the purchasing power of these workers slips to levels
since the late 1960s. The foreign corporations they work for will
of the difference.
The legacy of the BC Liberals
will be a whole new generation of underpaid and overworked cleaners and
workers who will be expected to cope with a complex and potentially
post-SARS health care environment with very little training or
Those are the cold, hard
facts about our health care system and you won't find them in any
Hospital Employees' Union