FAT HEADS IN THE OMA
There are so many things wrong with the delivery of health services in Canada that it is offensively dumb for the Ontario Medical Association to run its big mouth and recommend that we pay more for food that it thinks is harmful, after the bureaucrats have slapped gruesome pictures on the packaging.
What is ludicrous about all this is that with food that really is near the responsibility of the doctors of this province, in the hospital, they are miserable failures, unless the idea is to keep hospital food so bad, people would rather starve than gain a pound.
Mary and I now spend too much time in and around hospitals. I had spent one night in hospital in my entire life (even being delivered by my father, a doctor, at home) before my three months in two American and two Canadian hospitals last year. Since then we have averaged a visit to hospital every month.
This has shown Mary and me that there are too many things wrong with a system that wastes your time and mangles your records and makes you wait for months as just another anonymous cipher because it is conducted to the advantage of the providers, the staff, and not the consumers, the patients.
Trust me on this! I caught in time that the nurse?? had brought the wrong insulin, insulin so powerful that an endocrinologist said it would have put me in a coma. I ended my ordeal in hospital hell last year with three bed-sore ulcers so deep that I had to wear an air pump 24-hours a day for five months and have 130 visits from home-care nurses until they healed after 10 months. The time I slid out of a special bed and they didn't find me for two hours crammed face-down in a corner etcetera etceta etcetera
Why doesn't the OMA deal with all the graduating doctors who take advantage of the incredible costly education that we provide them, plus the incredibly expensive facilities that we provide them, and yet they persist in flocking to urban centres that already have enough doctors and leave great expanses of the country without enough care.
Why doesn't the OMA stop being just another protective labour union for its members and start allowing doctors educated in other countries to become doctors more quickly in this country.
Why doesn't the OMA deal with hospital boards and the ministry which try to sneak by with using as few RNs as possible (and that stands for Real Nurses) in favour of cheaper pretend nurses who are educated only in knowing how to open Band-Aid box.
And yet the OMA wants to make a main target the junk food because they say it's bad for you, arguing correctly that fatter patients aren't as healthy and therefore are expensive for the rest of us because of all the resources that they devour.
Of course the same fatter patients also die sooner, meaning they don't need health services as long as those healthier people who live a lot longer and therefore use a lot more medical services later to keep them going even as their healthier bodies start to wear down simply from age and not diet.
The irony is that doctors and hospitals, who are giant hornets' nests of red-tape nonsense, would appeal to bureaucrats for extra taxes and ugly pictorial crap that have already been inflicted on cigarette marketing. (And failed miserably with the addicted.)
C'mon docs, the government will hire a new infrastructure to run all this, and in the process skim off a hefty chunk of the new taxes that will be shoved into general revenues. That's the history of how governments work in Canada on everything from gasoline taxes to fishing fees.
If you really really deep down believe that increased taxes will work in making people eat healthier, why not go all the way. Make your neighbours who dine routinely on Big Macs pay a penalty tax every time they use their OHIP card and the scale beside the office nurse shows that they are too heavy.
I don't take credit for that last argument. Others have created it. Just remember the warning in debate theory that if in any major public issues you can easily take the change to a ridiculous conclusion, the smart thing is not to institute the change. In Latin it's called reductio ad absurdum.
After all, once you decide to punish people and their choices of food by imposing more government costs and regulations, why not go all out and charge them for doctor visits and hospital visits, and if they're lucky enough to have lived long enough to be a pensioner, charge them for prescription drugs.
The trouble with too many doctors is they were mark hounds in school who never took the time for the delights of an icy cherry coke and a cheeseburger just dripping with grease and, therefore, taste.
So they figure that a little dose of social bioengineering mixed in with a good sleep and some hefty taxes, plus pictures of fat people in their coffins on every bag of chips, is just what the doctor ordered to save money and time so they can concentrate on the things that are really important, such as buying fine wine and doing research on plastic surgery on toe warts of mice.
Doctors are important, valuable people. I treasure my doctors. But I expect them to concentrate on my body and how it is working. Health education is important but not when the activists want to punish us with new spending and laws if we don't obey. Every time the Toronto medical officer of health wants to rework our daily commute because Dr. David McKeown argues that lower speed limits would be safer, or diet zealots argue that school cafeteria food should be healthier, therefore driving kids to those heavens for junk food, the local hamburger joint, I wonder why they don't have a real list of priorities including education that doesn't come mined with Big Brother costs.
(Actually Dr. McKeown, speed isn't the key essential to most Toronto traffic accidents. And when the police put radar traps in areas where they will make a lot of money, they are just cash registers, not safety measuresl)
At the top of any medical list of priorities should be the importance of mental health. And nothing makes people happier than less government. It must have been nice in the caves when there were no Stop signs and you could even eat the fat on the dinosaur leg without someone yelling at you about your blood pressure.
You can just feel endorphins coursing through your system when you feel good, which is generally when Big Brother is not yelling at you and trying to pick your pocket at the same time, hoping you feel so guilty, you won't tell them to take a flying leap into a septic tank.