Health in Nova Scotia

Wrote this in response to something a health care advocate wrote.


Well we agree on something. That is good. I have reviewed over all my years of work literally thousands of drawings. Without exception the worst drawings by far are for hospitals and for schools. I could also add Wellness Center in Pictou and Rath Complex in Truro. I digress but it still is same underlying problem.

Yet I don’t think it is fair to foist all the blame on the engineers and architects designing these buildings. Likely they are working from a limited budget. More often than not when these projects are in a conceptual stage the parameters for design are being set by a committee of health/education professionals. These projects it seems to me lack focus and appeal instead to a wishlist of demands with the proviso that any problems can be figured out later. The people overseeing it don’t care because it isn’t their money being spent. As long as it is a committee of the whole spending someone else’s money hardly matters who the executive is that is in charge. I realize that some projects require government to move forward. But cost overruns should not be part and parcel of how things get done. They seem to be right now.

I would go further than you and privatize the buildings.

When the drawings for new hospital hit my desk I see incomplete details and dollar signs. Why? Well that is simple. If it isn’t on contracts the work is extra in time and materials. So the next time you drive by a work site and see a bunch of guys standing around with their thumb in their asses rest assured the dime getting spent is likely from .gov.ns.ca

This province and this country needs to leave behind the rhetoric that Health budgets are being cut. They are not being cut. You know better than I but when was the last time there was a cut in spending at Dept of Health. Maybe you can fill me in on that. Yet when I turn on TV all I hear are cuts here and slashes there.

So put one person in charge long term. Ok. Probably would help. But first thing on list for this person would be to be honest about how much money we are spending. How much more money is getting spent on Health Care year over year. How about an honest conversation from this minister. Dispense with this narrative of health care cuts. I would like to think citizens of this province would be receptive to being spoken to like adults. But using the past as a guide chances of success don’t look good. They can’t handle the truth. Most want to live in a land of make believe.

A while back I had a conversation with a Doctor of Radiology here in Antigonish. We were going back and forth about issues of the day. He got onto topic of government budgets. He thought there needed to be real cuts to all sorts of programs. Yet not surprisingly he left out his field. I asked him point blank how much is enough and should we consider actual line item cuts to health care. He didn’t answer question. Just ignored me. Says a lot about attitude. Don’t complain just give till it hurts. To him anyone who thinks like I do is an evil bastard who just wants to push Granny over the cliff.

People have grown used to health care on demand. Too many seem comfortable going to McDonald’s for that Big Mac today all the while promising to pay for it next week. Then next week comes and another promise gets made. Eventually the clerk is going to refuse orders. And then what?

In the end the reckoning will occur one way or the other. Right now there doesn’t seem to be many folks talking about the hard choices that are needed to be made. I just see more of the same.

Tell me I am wrong.


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