Unions not to blame for high health costs

I am writing in response to comments made by letter writer William Welikoklad in the Feb. 27 Advocate, headlined Constant complaints getting tiresome: I don’t know where Welikoklad got his figures in his first paragraph.

I am writing in response to comments made by letter writer William Welikoklad in the Feb. 27 Advocate, headlined Constant complaints getting tiresome:

I don’t know where Welikoklad got his figures in his first paragraph.

He can’t be referring to the $8 million recently announced by the provincial government because that has not been spent yet, and I don’t know where he found the figures about the number of procedures carried out. But I would certainly agree with him that if spending $8 million would significantly reduce the waiting list for surgery, then we should spend it.

His attack on unions and their leaders is unwarranted.

Since he is talking about health care, he must be referring to the professional organizations of pharmacists, nurses, physicians and other health-care workers, who all have their code of ethics and standards, and if practised govern how they do their jobs.

To suggest that their “unions” force them to do less work than they are capable of is ludicrous and insulting. Maybe when he belonged to a union, Welikoklad put out only 75 per cent of his potential, as he says.

Shame on him! But he will have a hard time finding health-care workers leaving the job 15 minutes early or taking half-hour coffee breaks, or otherwise slacking off the job.

To say that, “It’s your union leaders who create the high cost of medicare” is just silly.

If the government were seen to be more transparent in their dealings with the public and communicated a clear path for health-care delivery, perhaps there would be less criticism from the public.

I am not sure that Welikoklad has a clear knowledge of the plan, nor does the government, as demonstrated by recent changes in direction being taken in health care.

Finally, Welikoklad is incorrect.

If our legislature truly represented the wishes of those who took the time to vote, and if the seat count was determined by the popular vote, there would be 21 Liberals, eight New Democrats, six Alliance, four Greens, and only 44 PCs in the legislature, a pretty slim majority.

Shirley Thomas

Red Deer

Editor’s note: The letter writer is a retired nurse.