Posts Tagged ‘health professionals’

Hypodermic needle with needle capYou’d think that health professionals would be most knowledgeable about the benefits of the treatments they administer, so why do 52 per cent of Toronto health professionals not have the annual flu shot, according to this June 26, 2012 Toronto Star article?

This is in the context of them being “free,” through public taxes, for any resident of Ontario.

Fewer than half of Toronto’s health-care workers get annual flu shots. These are trained medical professionals who dress patients’ wounds, jab intravenous needles into their veins, empty their colostomy bags and put feeding tubes in their noses. They, if anyone, should know the risk of spreading an infectious disease that can be deadly for the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.

Yet 52 per cent refuse – or just don’t bother – to get vaccinated, insisting they should have the same rights as anyone else.

Good on the unions for standing behind their members’ rights:

The unions representing health-care workers strenuously oppose such actions. “Our approach has always to encourage the Ministry of Health and hospitals to work on education with hospital workers on the positive health impacts of immunization,” says one union official.

Remember how we are supposed to respect the professional opinion of professional workers? Not in this case, according to the Toronto Star editorial board:

Toronto would not be setting a precedent. Flu shots are already mandatory for health-care workers in North Bay. Nor would Ontario be breaking ground. It already requires health-care workers to be immunized for hepatitis B.

A flu shot takes less than 10 minutes. It’s a quick prick in the arm. If health-care workers won’t make the effort, it’s time to push them.

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The first step in my health care reform plan is simply this: recognizing that health care is not a right.

How can I be so cruel as to say that? How can anyone be so cruel as to say otherwise?

To say that health care is a right means that you have a right to someone else’s labour. Do others have a right to your labour, or is your labour your own, to use it as you see fit?

Communism is a system that holds that some have the right to the labour of others. Communism co-founder, Karl Marx, stated in 1875: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

I understand the well-meaning intentions of those who say that health care is, and should be, a right. However, a right is an entitlement. How can you be entitled to the work of a doctor, a nurse, or any other health professional, as a matter of birth?

If health care truly was a right, then that was quite the oversight by the Founding Fathers of the United States, in not including it in the Bill of Rights in 1789. But it wasn’t an oversight. They recognized that it wasn’t a right.

The consequence of recognizing that health care is not a right, I believe, is to put the focus back where it properly belongs, as to who is ultimately responsible for their own health — the individual. There are those who are unable to properly care for themselves, as there has been since the dawn of time. Those people should be appropriately cared for, as matter of public interest, not as a matter of right, as well as all others. But just because it’s in the public interest to take care of all individuals, doesn’t make it a right, nor necessitate the method of care.

These days, health care is often taken to mean expensive diagnostic equipment, treatment with expensive drugs, expensive private health care plans with high overhead, and unsustainable government health plans, such as Medicare, which, as I previously documented, cost 744% more by 1990 than previously estimated at its inception, in 1965.

Modern health care has regressed from the basic principles of the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, who stated: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

Instead of a proactive, preventative approach to health by the individual, the focus has regressed to a reactive, expensive third-party approach, and this must change.

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