Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Conservatives' very small Canada, continued

A follow-up here to a post from a few weeks back. Remember Jason Kenney's announcement on dialing back health care benefits for refugees? It was couched in a way that suggested that refugees were getting better health care benefits than Canadians. It was meant to sow resentment against refugees, people who are least able to help themselves upon arrival in Canada. The Conservatives wanted the story to be understood as refugees somehow taking something from Canadians. As a needless expense we could cut.

Yesterday, doctors held a news conference that put a finer point on what might happen given that refugees will only have access to health care in emergency situations:
Dr. Mark Tyndall, head of infectious diseases at The Ottawa Hospital, said the changes create a serious threat to public health.

"If we are only allowed to offer care to someone when they are spitting up blood in the emergency room, they will most certainly have already infected others (with tuberculosis)," Tyndall said Monday at a news conference held by the Canadian Health Coalition.
"There is not a health economist in the world who would tell you that restricting primary and preventive care is a cost-saver. In fact, waiting until people require urgent care runs contrary to everything we know about sound health economics," Tyndall said, explaining that the changes will create emergency room visits and hospitalizations that could have been avoided — all at a cost to the government.
Runs contrary to everything we know about sound health economics...that seems just about right with these Conservatives.

The cuts kick in at the end of June.