Government must move from consulting to action
NDP leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) and St. John’s Centre MHA Gerry Rogers participated in the Premier’s Health Summit yesterday. Michael says the premier should get a copy of the 2003 framework document Moving Forward Together: Mobilizing Primary Health Care if he wants to know how to build a primary health care framework.
“The Premier and Health Minister obviously did not realize that government already has the answers to the questions that many people of the province have raised in the consultation on health care,” Michael said today. “What has been lacking – and apparently continues to be lacking – is the political will to bring our healthcare system on a par with others in the country.”
Several people at the summit expressed their frustration to her over the continuing lack of action after years of consultation. “As one participant put it, ‘government has taken the A step many times but can't seem to make it to B,’” she said.
“Yesterday, the Health Minister talked about the importance of community-based health programs and the involvement of the not-for-profit sector – but those very programs have been cut by this government,” she said. “No wonder participants expressed frustration at the disconnect between government’s actual actions and this public relations consultation exercise.”
The health minister challenged summit participants to work with government to create a primary health care framework. Michael has a challenge of her own.
“I challenge the Minister to really work with the professionals, health care groups and community members who have told governments for decades what we need to create a Primary Health Care Framework,” she said. “These people are not the ones who have refused to do the work.”