By Letter to the Editor on July 10, 2020.
There have been many thoughtful letters to the editor and opinion pieces in the Lethbridge Herald over the past weeks and months on subjects of concern to the readership and Albertans in general.
And the UCP government is working ruthlessly and diligently and with a terrifying efficiency to take full advantage of the crisis afforded by COVID, and its majority. Alberta is being changed dramatically and with such speed that the average person feels (and is) powerless to be heard in any meaningful way.
Health care has suffered even as we depend on the dedication and professionalism of our public health sector, physicians, nurses and all essential workers. It will be all too easy with the public sector hanging by a thread – thanks to our Minister of Health – to come up with a solution.
So what is that? The UCP will save us by moving forward to privatize health care. Likely many physicians and surgeons will choose to take advantage of this since they are without a contract anyway and are not respected by the provincial government. However, if we look at the demographics of Alberta, it is clear that we cannot afford to support a strong public system and private health care. We have too few people in a huge geographic area. Those who will be impacted most severely will be in rural and remote areas. Private care will not be viable beyond major centres
Now we hear that the UCP is finally developing a major infrastructure plan – about time. Let’s pray that health care, education and social services (especially housing) are included as “infrastructure.” You can’t turn the tap off-on and off again with education – a highly educated workforce is infrastructure – keep feeding it.
Likewise public health care and social services. The short-sighted approach of politicians who plan around four-year election cycles is destructive. As is the endless rhetoric and battling with Ottawa. Alberta needs stability and wise leadership and long-term plans. And some compassion wouldn’t go amiss.