Letters for May 8


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Gordon’s got to go

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Gordon’s got to go

Audrey Gordon must resign. Or be fired.

It is beyond absurd — but politically expedient perhaps, thinking of Heather Stefanson, former invisible Manitoba health minister, and current gibberish-prone, incompetent health minister, Audrey Gordon — that Lanette Siragusa be appointed Shared Health CEO, while retaining vice-deanship of the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, albeit in a reduced capacity.

As an experienced university administrator over many decades, I can attest that this type of bizarre appointment is nothing but detrimental to the complexity, challenges and issues with this hastily-announced appointment.

That Gordon thinks that this is to the benefit to the citizens of Manitoba is equally absurd.

Thousands of Manitobans continue to face cruelly long wait-times for surgery and diagnostic testing (“Staged task-force update clumsy Tory misdirection away from Manitobans awaiting medical help”, April 21). Many others have had their lives devastated by the inaccessibility of well-managed health care. Other precious souls have died due to governmental incompetence and evisceration of health care by the Pallister government, ongoing inadequate funding and overall mismanagement.

That Audrey Gordon continues as health minister, after demonstrating years of gaslighting, incompetence, gibberish and generalized incoherence, is mind-boggling. Manitobans deserve to have access to properly funded and fully equipped health-care facilities, in a timely fashion, without further devastation and death brought about by an incompetent health minister, overwhelmed by hubris. And now, this appointment of Siragusa after the sudden and unexpected resignation of the former Shared Health CEO is akin to appointing Bugs Bunny, with all of his accomplishments, to replace Elmer Fudd.

Manitobans deserve a health minister who is clearly engaged in her responsibilities, responsive and accountable for her words and deeds (“It’s one thing to declare yourself a role model; it’s another to be worthy of the title”, April 22), and who possesses the experience and expertise needed to undertake such all-important duties as those associated with providing health care to our province’s citizens. A minister who proves consistently that she is up to the task.

A minister who is fully involved in assuring the protection, security and accessibility needed in Manitoba health care, not someone who installs, knowingly, that an august, yet dysfunctional appointment at the top of Manitoba’s fractured health-care system will fail. And assuage her ego while she continues to avoid the press, citizens’ questions and ministerial accountability.

Alas, this is not the case in Manitoba.

Gordon must resign. Or be fired. The lives of many thousands of Manitobans hang in the balance.

Kenneth Meadwell, PhD, OPA


Don’t make HSC staff pay for parking privilege

Re: HSC nurses fear for their own safety at hospital parkades (May 5)

Today’s paper recounts the dangers of parking in the HSC parkade and parking lots. Is this just another example of this PC government’s disdain for our abused health-care workers?

It is very expensive to park to attend an appointment at Health Sciences. It is like an unofficial tax on patients and clear evidence that the whole management of health-care facilities (all over the city) is failing, is mismanaged, and is philosophically and morally corrupt.

But the concept that these essential workers, already underpaid and so abused by this government’s endless cuts, demands to work overtime, and total lack of respect, have to pay to park in safety near their essential workplace is an abomination! That nurses have to pay and then have no security and are in danger, just for going to do those essential duties, is beyond insane.

The mismanagement of the whole health-care system, from parking to operation room, by the PC government borders on criminal. Allowing nurses, called in on an emergency, to have to park in a dangerous situation makes me wonder if “Hockey Mom” — former health minister and now premier — has any concept of integrity or responsibility. An election cannot come too soon!

Shane Nestruck


Tough testimony

Re: Emotional testimony from doctor’s alleged former victim (May 5)

The details as described in the testimony of witnesses in the Dr. Bissonnette sexual assault trial are deeply disturbing. In one case a woman “described the guilt she suffers from not coming forward sooner.”

I also wonder how many physicians are cringing reading these details? The reality is that medical victimization is extremely disproportionate to the excellent care that most doctors provide to their patients.

But if as a patient you feel that your physician has abused you, where do you go?

Unfortunately the Manitoba Institute of Patient Safety has disappeared and been folded into Shared Health.

You could go to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba and examine their Standards of Practice of Medicine. Unfortunately these standards say very little if anything about physical examinations.

The reality is that we need better supports and information regarding patient rights.

Mac Horsburgh


Unbelievable waste

Re: Crucial diagnostic equipment sits idle (Think Tank, May 5)

Thank you Dr. Sandro Demeter for your comments. This is unbelievable to say the least.

A $3-million piece of important medical equipment that is laying unused for four months at John Buhler Research Centre is criminal. Purchasing this expensive and necessary medical tool without having the foresight in hiring the qualified people to operate and do the necessary work to properly process patients is hard to imagine.

Surely we have qualified people to buy this expensive equipment who also know that qualified staff to operate said equipment is required — or do we?

This scanner is a most important tool in the detection of cancer. We will never know how many patients have missed getting a PET/CT scan in the four months this scanner has remained idle.

Not to appear vengeful, but I feel the person or persons responsible for this debacle should be named because they are not responsible enough to be in charge of such important purchasing power as this scanner.

The head of the department that manages equipment and the people who he/she manages need for their department have a forensic audit to see what caused this to happen and to not let this be repeated again.

Ken Butchart


Dropping IB program a mistake

Re: Division pressured to save IB program (May 4)

The recent decision by the River East School Division to discontinue the vaunted International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Miles Macdonell Collegiate should be worrisome for all who care about quality secondary school education in Manitoba.

This rather ill-conceived and poorly thought out decision is deeply troubling and is a “dumbing down” approach to education that we are unfortunately seeing throughout North America in general.

This is a wrong-headed interpretation of educational equality as evidenced by the River East decision.

It is likely many of the division school trustees view the IB program as outdated and redolent of elitism.

A more misguided and inaccurate assessment would be difficult to imagine.

The instructors are deeply troubled by this decision and are concerned for the many students who will be unable to access and benefit from this remarkable program in future years

Also of great concern for the entire teaching staff is the instruction from the administration to not speak or comment publicly on this decision.

They are effectively muzzled with the implied risk of consequences for their actions if the edict is defied.

Dark and draconian times for education at Miles Mac and, by extension, Manitoba.

Chris Brooke


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