len's masthead




londoner editor pic





Our finance minister Greg Sobera has outlined in his new budget millions of more dollars to fix the ailing health care dilemma in Ontario. One in four Canadians age two to seventeen are now listed as obese. For the first time we have youngsters with premature heart/type two diabetes ailments. Unless the dire predictions changes our youth will probably live a shorter life span then their parents.

A friend of mine, ‘Gerry’ a nurse who works in the Intensive Care Unit of the London Health Center took me aside to try and explain the dilemma he and his fellow health care workers are faced with daily

Under the new formula his hospital is going to receive twenty more critical care beds to care for those in need. He informed me that the problem is not beds but rather the shortage of nurses to care for the patients . It takes one hundred nurses working 24/7 to care for twenty patients in the I C U. There is a shortage of nurses/doctors in the London area to care for our ageing baby boomers.

The cost of hospital primary health care in London is $2,500 per day per patient.

Recently Gerry had the unenviable task of trying to care for ‘Bonnie’ a middle aged 200 pound women who was a type two diabetic that enjoyed smoking a couple of packs of cigarettes per day.

Bonnie has had the benefit of the protection afforded by the universal Ontario Health Insurance Plan. Her health insurance is free for the using with absolutely no cash outlay for her medical care. There has been no financial incentive for her to live a healthy lifestyle. She told the nurses that, ‘if she would have known that she would live into her fifties that she would have taken better care of herself.’ There is no financial penalty/ deterrent to her pursuing an unhealthy life style.

Nurse Gerry had some wise advise for us to help the problem. We can try and throw money at the problem but to no avail. To alleviate the shortage of nurses/ technicians/doctors the government could offer to help pay the cost of post secondary education for those who want to make a difference in health care. Those who qualify could receive four years of professional education free and you sign on to give five years of service to the province of Ontario.

What do you do with an unhealthy population?. How about encouraging Londoners to acquire memberships in fitness clubs, Y M C A, Boys and Girl’s Club by making the fees tax deductible.

Everyone according to their means should be paying their fair share of the O H I P fees. The cost of one’s health care like unto car/life insurance should be based on one’s concern for living a healthy lifestyle. Smokers, obese, sedentary people who abuse their health should be paying the piper for their ill health regime.

If we continue on paying 46% of our fiscal budget to health care the citizens of London will suffer. How can we be able to continue to afford to pay for an ageing inter structure, education, availability of social services to the community with the cost of health care rising each year?

What is your opinion? Drop us an e-mail.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com