Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
March 27, 2006
WCR Letters to the Editor
Health care is not an industry
I work in the health care industry and see daily what the lack of manpower does to patients, staff and the system in general. We have a huge recruitment and retention problem now. How can a private parallel system alleviate this? It won't.
With the proposal from the government doctors will be mandated to work a minimum (as of yet unstated) number of hours in the public system before they can devote their concentration to a private parallel system.
The private system being more lucrative, where do you think most will spend the majority of their time?
Doctors can't run private clinics or hospitals on their own. Where will the needed manpower come from? The public system, of course. Will this shorten waiting times for medical services?
You only have to look as far as the UK or Australia who have the same system in place to see it won't.
Of course Ralph Klein and Gordon Campbell will say it does. But I'll wager they are only looking at the wait list for private coverage. Just ask a regular Joe how fast they can access care in England. I have and it's scary.
Part of what makes us the envy to our neighbours down south is our universal health care system.
Are we willing to give up what Tommy Douglas fought so hard and valiantly for? Are we willing to go back to a time where the decision to be made is to feed your family or seek treatment?
Reform in health care does need to take place, without a doubt. This province with their arthroplasty project has made great inroads, and this is where we need to continue to focus our attention.
Reformation without privatization. Privatization and private insurance is only a step backward.
What kind of legacy shall we leave our children?
Every citizen of Alberta is "a stakeholder" in health care and their voices need to be heard. Mr. Klein and Ms. Evans, 30 days doesn't cut it!
Health care is not and never should be a marketable commodity.
Adopt a third way in politics, economics
Mr. Argan's series has been nicely expounding the Social Doctrine of the Church and highlighting the dichotomies (WCR, March 13, p. 24). Surely, we ought to knit morality with economics, yet we must use our talents primarily to human development.
But there is a subtle but crucial issue that escapes such dichotomizing - one aptly called the third way - and it is not quite true that if John Paul II stopped seeking it, it cannot exist, at least as an ideal the Church would find worth seeking.
We are ready to seek the third or even the fourth way in health care, one that would transcend the existing dichotomies, so why couldn't we seek a better third way in politics and economics?
In fact, the fourth "Christian" way in health care, where the culture of death with its evils of abortion, contraception and euthanasia would be eliminated, if we can achieve it, would be an integral part of such social third way.
A particular third way is not a social dogma cast in stone, because the Church has had to learn to function in any society from slaveries and tyrannies to modern hedonistic society with its own dichotomies of rights and freedoms.
But, as Mr. Argan pointed out, there has always been a biblical perspective of social doctrine, and its best representation was expressed by the angelic doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, whose ideas were revived and reformulated by the "distributist" popes from Leo XIII to Pius XI as a reaction to the contemporary dichotomies of capitalism vs. collectivism, which we have inherited.
Genii such as Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton took these papal ideas a step further, and actually tried to deliver a practical program of widespread distribution of property, called distributism, which is the best way to bring the economic dichotomies from the impersonal global scale, on which we are experiencing them now, down to individual personal level of sin.
Those wishing to explore the third way and distributism can find many good sources on the Internet or in the libraries.
Religious challenged to go back to their roots
A sad article in theMarch 13 WCR is the controversial letter from the Canadian Religious Conference, criticizing the Catholic Church. Being a religious myself, I don't support this kind of complaint. To say the least, I feel humiliated, astounded and shocked to hear such criticism from religious people.
Bishop Cazabon is right: "They speak as if they are not in the Church." Could I invite them to look in their own order for the problems? Would this be the reason why there are few, not to say no, more vocations? Why would we undermine our Church from the inside?
We have so many witnesses of different faith backgrounds, converting to the Catholic faith because of the sound and biblical teaching of our 2,000-year Church. They are proud of the Church of Jesus Christ and not necessarily proud of all the sinners inside.
My foundress, St. Marguerite d'Youville, was sanctified within this Church and I'm sure she would not approve this kind of attitude. When we follow Jesus Christ and work to alleviate his poor in our environment, we don't have time, trying to change what we don't have the power to change.
Will this kind of letter bring vocations or cradle Catholics back to the faith? Certainly not. Could they not focus on the culture of life and try to eliminate the culture of death, so much in existence in Canada? "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
Why would we change his teaching? Jesus did not come to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill it.
I invite them to read what Anya MacDonald, the 20-year-old U of Alberta student spending volunteer time at the women's shelter in Edmonton (WCR, March 13), said: "I guess the first thing I learned is that it's not always about initiating change all the time, but being out in the community and making aware the presence of Jesus!"
Congratulations Anya! Isn't that why each religious order was founded? On a call to love and serve Jesus Christ and to be advocate for the poor and not for those who are trying to avoid the truth of the Scripture.
If they read the pastoral letters and the encyclicals, they would learn that who they call the Church has never stopped anyone in loving Jesus Christ and their neighbour. On the contrary, the Church is calling us to go, evangelize, bring our positive contributions, gifts and talents, compassion and understanding to all, for the kingdom.
Please, come back to your roots. God needs you. He will bless you, your mission, and your order, if you accept a Church, made of sinners, saved by the grace of God.
Sr. Elisabeth Coulombe
Reader appeals for a chapel for residence
The plan to build an "aging-in-place" residence offering bilingual health care is a laudable undertaking (WCR, March 6. Page 3)
The paragraph stating which services will be provided omits the word "spiritual."
This idea is further expressed in the line "It will not have its own chapel."
I hope that this is only a sad oversight as "spiritual" health care supersedes all other forms of health care which relate to the body only.
A chapel would be a focal point encouraging the aging residents to prepare for eternity, the only dimension of health to endure. A chapel will be a constant reminder to resident seniors that God dwells amongst us.
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