The Maclean’s December 2, 1996 issue is “A Special Report with CBC The National”. Its title “RADICAL SURGERY”, figures on two lines, each spanning the width of the front page. There is a photo of an ER in action and a sideline informs that it is about: “How Ottawa’s policies threaten medicare as we know it”. The Report is 33 pages-long, the work of 25 Journalists.
“That it [Medicare] has any life at all is due entirely to the dedication of doctors and nurses and others who are working extra hours under impossible circumstances”.
Thus they then reported. Now, 27 years later, that Report remains “current”, sad to say. The malaise has been around for a long time: Medicare crying “for management” with nobody answering the cries.
From its inception in 1968, Medicare has been plagued by politicians treating it like a can to kick on their way to the public trough. Their “management” of Medicare has been appalling. Sadly we did not find a way to stop them.
I will reason that the disease ravaging Medicare is a pandemic that affects all institutions that define Canada. Our Democracy lies lifeless, like taxidermized “game” and we are by-and-large cleverly led to treat it as being alive.
While Medicare costs are high, the doctors are underpaid and overworked and their ranks are getting thin. Especially acute is the shortage of GPs who have become scarce “beyond the breaking point”. What a mess!
Let’s look at that GP’s assertion. The average salary of Judges is in the order of $360,000 pa. The ballpark figure of an employee’s cost to the employer is about twice the employees pay. In the instance of Judges it is many times that – Look at the Supreme Court of Canada edifice in Ottawa. It is a huge, luxurious place built, operated and maintained to be the shop of nine Judges! Of course not all judges enjoy similar opulence, however all of them get plenty. But let’s be generous and say that on the average, each judge costs us 2x360,000=$720,000pa.
The courts “recess,” (sort of), for a couple of months in the summer and for a couple of weeks at Christmas. I will deduct only two months of court recess and one month vacation, resulting in a 9-month “work-year” for the Judges, which means they work 196 days. I also assume they work an 8-hour day and a 5-day week. Under those assumptions, the average daily cost of a judge is $3,673 per day.
The GPs have no summer recess therefore they work 11 months a year, to wit 239 days. The “safe” number of patients for a GP to see in a day is 25. In BC Medicare pays the GP $33 per patient-visit. Does medicare pay the GP $825 per workday? It does not. Roughly half of that $825 goes to the GPs overhead. Hence the GPs $825 corresponds to Judges $3,673.
Now why should the GP be paid $825 a day? Why the judge is paid $3,673 a day? This works out to the Judge getting roughly 5x the income of a GP.
The education of a GP is vastly more costly, demanding and complex than that of a Judge; The Judge applies human-made Laws, or merely decides who of the Lawyers representing the adversary parties appears more credible than the other.
In contrast, the GP applies the strict Laws of Nature, the consequence of a violation being inescapable and patent.
The Judge can cause no more bodily harm than incarcerate someone for life – the GP can send someone to the grave for eternity. In the course of a week, the GP likely saves someone’s life – but recently it took nine judges and a few lawyers to metamorphose “midway condom removal” into “sexual assault.”
How could this happen? It is a relic of ages past. It is part of despots masquerading as democrats. The Justice fraternity/sorority are an aggressive minority trained to win, right or wrong. They seized an “opportunity” and made themselves one of the “Estates” triumvirate, the “Legislative, Executive and Judiciary”, who “govern” us – in contrast, the GPs are dedicated people who answer their calling quietly, averse to bullying anyone.
What I am reasoning out is not merely the mistreatment of the doctors, it is the maligning of democracy. It is the tyranny of the majority by a minority. It is the triumph of Nonsense over Horsense.
When a minority becomes an “estate” and pretends to be god-assigned, or its equivalent, to “govern” the society, Democracy cannot be. Medicare is not the only institution maligned, all our institutions are, for there is no decency left where Democracy is gutted.
In a democracy there are no “homeless”, no hungries, no destitutes - period. That there are aplenty in our midst is the consequence from the hollowing of our Democracy and stuffing “estates” where guts ought to be ...
A fortnight ago Elections BC closed the file of the latest citizens’ attempt to recall an MLA. This, while democracy was invented to protect us against being governed by whom we do not want.
BC Premier Rita Johnston, piggy-backed on the 1991 election a referendum on Recall & Initiative. This would lift the suppression of our Rights to Recall errant MLAs and to Initiate legislation. We voted Yes well over 80% for each proposition. After the vote, Premier Mike Harcourt dispatched the Ujjal Dosanjh Committee to defang the referndum result. Together they killed it by enacting a fake Recall & Initiative Act. Elections BC uses it to protect politicians from the people.
Sadly we stood silent, just starring at them raping Democracy. Such bouts of negligence have resulted in the despotism we now endure.