Wednesday, November 23, 2022

A 12 Step Solution to Fix Healthcare

This thread is from Dr. Raghu Venugopal, an emergency physician in Toronto explaining how to fix healthcare in Ontario:

1. Declare a crisis

2. Scrap bill 124.

3. Give nursing and allied staff a raise.

4. School masking to reduce spread (plus cleaning hands and ventilation).

5. Get provincial health ministers to agree to federal data request to get available federal funding.

6. Spend surplus on health staff and structures, not highways, car sticker rebates, and waste.

7. Robustly invest in family health teams.

8. Supercharge hospital bed capacity (including ICU), which we hugely lack.

9. Bipartisan flu vaccine promotion now.

10. Fair paid sick days.

I could go on. But the Ford administration is going to do none of this, I am sorry to say, except I do note they promise to build hospital beds.

Lastly, it's about publicly funded health care:

11. Yes to non-profit surgical facilities.

12. Scrap for-profit nursing homes with increased mortality. Most hospitals are general, so children fight with elderly for beds. Healthier seniors means more pediatric beds.

So simple, and so not going to happen!! 

A trustee in OCDSB (Ottawa/Carleton) last night, where they discussed a mask mandate at an intense meeting that required police intervention to keep the crowd at bay, asked, "Why, if the situation is so dire, have neither Moore nor Ottawa's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches, imposed mask mandates?" And many people are saying - Wow, great point!! 

It implies, perhaps, that it mustn't be that bad or else surely people in power would be acting on it, which is clearly not the case. It IS that bad, and they're doing very little.

So then it's a moot point that just serves as a distraction. Why no provincial mandates? Corruption? Popularity? Spyriphobia (fear of acne)? Who knows. The fact is the province won't mandate masks, for whatever reason. So, what needs to happen now, now that we know we're on our own, to get more people wearing masks in order to protect children (and everyone else) and save public healthcare? Some local public health MOHs have at least provided strong messaging, like in Ottawa and Niagara, that could back up individual moves to mandate in public buildings, like schools and libraries. But for the most part, public health is failing to do their job, and it's up to the public to do it for them. 

OCDSB couldn't get their motion for a mandate to a vote last night with so many interruptions from the crowd, which was their goal - filibuster by fanatics - but they'll just add it to the top of the agenda at the next meeting. Hamilton, however, did pass a motion, with little fanfare, that was not as heavy-handed: We request that all staff and students wear a mask. It sounds weak on the surface, but when mandates were first lifted last April, we were at a point that I felt like masks couldn't be discussed in the classroom. I could have a window open a crack for hot flashes but not for Covid. It felt like we weren't permitted to acknowledge that it's real. Asking everyone to please wear one has no teeth, but it might allow people to talk about it. A request coupled with clear information sent to all teachers to disseminate to all students - that masks work; better masks work better; you can have it and spread it without knowing it; Covid can hang out in your bloodstream for months after a mild or asymptomatic infection and attack your brain or liver or destroy your immune system like AIDS... Something like that might be the best we can do to knock out one of those 12 steps. It's clearly not enough, but it might be better than nothing as we also write to the CMOH to provide a provincial mask mandate instead of throwing public school board trustees to the wolves. At least he has access to a security detail.

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