I really feel for Ontario's doctors. I do. They're getting the equivalent of a surprise colonoscopy while Dalton's union pals got a pay raise which nobody but me even remembers.
But in truth, the docs should have observed the province's symptoms a bit more carefully and opted for early surgery to prevent these complications.
The posts that your intrepid correspondent wrote on the subject should have been enough for them to get the hint, but in case they didn't read those, they could have learned from the last time a Liberal government in Ontario tried this.
Instead of preparing for Deb Matthews' gut check a few days ago, the docs were content to think to themselves, "We provide an important service to Ontarians and really, we could be making a lot of money elsewhere, but we choose to stay here. We deserve to be rewarded for what we do. Surely the government understands this."
Well, as they found out, it doesn't quite work that way. As people with a conservative outlook understand very well, you are either on this Liberal government's team or you're not. They're not on your team. They never were.
Oh sure, the government knew taking on doctors would be risky, but because the media has been studiously ignoring anything that would make Dalton look bad during the past few days, it's as good of a time as any to divide and conquer.
Any good physician knows how to notice warning signs. In this case, the diagnosis they should have made was that if the government can waste money on some health-related thingy that nobody understands, they will waste away, but if they can cut doctors' salaries, they will be lauded by the populace for fighting the 1%.
Did the doctors say, "Hey, those LHIN's are a huge waste of money"?
Did the doctors say, "eHealth is a big problem and proves we shouldn't throw good money after bad so far as the health care system is concerned"?
Did the doctors say, "Wow, that Drummond Report is pretty well thought out and we should look at his recommendations for health care and start implementing them"?
They ignored the evidence and made up excuses because they knew (though they preferred not to acknowledge) that opposing the government is for cranks with blogs like me, not for respectable physicians. It just wouldn't do to have medical professionals acting like a bunch of Tea Partiers and spouting anti-government rhetoric. We are Canadians and we don't do that.
What is more important? Who should be compensated more? The people who save Ontarians' lives, or the people who make sure that those with socially unacceptable views are kept out of the public view?
Don't these doctors know that the living would envy the dead here in Ontario if we didn't have a Liberal government to keep us from going backward to the Harris days? What would be the point of having doctors in such a situation?
So griping in the comments sections of Toronto Star articles about how Deb Matthews is a big meany-pants for saying doctors are greedy will do no good, because Debbie Doubletalk has had a lot of practice doing just that.
Not only that, but chances are that most patients agree with her. Don't we live in Canada (so goes the thinking) where we've got free health care? So why are these doctors being paid so much? When did we become the 51st state?
Not only that, but we all know what's going to happen before the next election, don't we? Dalton will dangle some sort of goodie for doctors that won't make up for this slap in the face at all, but all the doctors will still say, "Oh jeez, we'd better all vote Liberal or else we won't get anything!"
Is Tim Hudak going to announce that doctors will be raking in big bucks under a PC government? Not if it means he has to take more flak from Principled Conservatives about how he's not cutting enough money from health care!
So I return to my basic theme of how, until we as a province, say "No More" to the government stringing us along in this way, one-sided wars over money like the one with the doctors will be the norm.
Not because the Liberals want to fix the deficit, mind you, but because they want to prove that they rule everything.