Letters Sept. 15: Private health care; school zone speed signs; maintaining compassion

Private health care is legal in B.C.

Re: “B.C. judge rules against private health care, ” Sept. 11.

Headlines would suggest that private health are is illegal in B.C. In fact private health-care is perfectly legal in B.C. and if Dr. Brian Day, or any other medical practitioner, wished to open a purely private practice they are free to do so. What they are not allowed to do is work in both the public system and a private system at the same time.

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What the proponents of “private health-care” are proposing is that they should be allowed to take patients from the public system but offer them the option to jump the public health-care queue if they are willing to pay for that. If you can’t pay, well then you wait.

Would we run a police system on the same basis? Would it be acceptable if, when you phoned the police, you were told that they would look into your concern in about an hour unless you were willing to pay a fee, in which case they would look into it immediately? Like health-care, there is a perfectly legal private system for security (private security services), and just like health-care, it would be unacceptable if those working in the public police system were allowed to offer faster service for those willing to pay for it.

Robert Lewis
Victoria

Improve gaps in public health care

As a medical student who is soon to enter practice and care for Canadian patients, I am delighted to learn that the B.C. Supreme Court has shot down Dr. Brian Day’s constitutional challenge of publicly funded healthcare.

While our healthcare system isn’t perfect, a two-tier system would only intensify class discrimination where the best research, technologies, and clinical care would go to those with the most resources, thereby weakening care for those who have less means.

Further, paying a fee to jump the queue places value on money rather than people. Instead, we must focus on improving gaps in our existing universal health care, starting with better care for rural, Indigenous, racialized, and socioeconomically disadvantaged Canadians, so we can ensure that all of us truly have access to the same great healthcare.

Anser Daud
Toronto

Install signs showing end of school zones

Re: “Back to school in the time of COVID‑19,” Steve Wallace column, Sept. 11.

A quote from this article caught my eye “Only in Backward Columbia does the school-zone speed limit end when a driver sees the corresponding school-zone sign on the opposite side of the road facing away from a driver leaving the school-zone.”

Really? Steve Wallace points out some of the challenges for this scenario.

When in a school-zone my focus is watching carefully for students and others in the zone area while adhering strictly to the speed limit. My last inclination would be to be searching the opposite side of the road for a sign that I must recognize by shape mixed with other signs, vegetation, etc.

Doing so would take my attention away from what is most important to look for. Why not a sign on the right side of the road clearly marked to be noticed as one comes to the end of the school-zone? Would sure help with where the focus needs to be!

Dave Hockley
Victoria

Sidney cannabis store needs different name

I support of the proposed cannabis store on Sidney’s Beacon Avenue as I believe that it would serve the senior demographic in our town.

But I object to the name proposed for the store, Happy Buddha. I don’t call myself a Buddhist, but I do Buddhist meditation and study the Buddhist dharma, and it does feel insulting to have the name of the Buddha associated with a commercial enterprise.

I imagine many Christians would object if, for example, a store called Jesus’ Jeans opened on Beacon. I wonder if the owners realized that they would be offending those of us who are sympathetic to Buddhist beliefs and practice.

This isn’t about political correctness, but rather respect for people’s spiritual beliefs.

Joan Richardt
Sidney

We need an advocate for the environment

A message for Premier John Horgan: If you want to increase your government’s credibility for managing public assets, stop logging old growth forests, and appoint an advocate for the environment.

The NDP prides itself on protecting the “public good” and stewarding the “common wealth” of our magnificent province. Bravo!

Attorney General David Eby has made welcome, substantial, and necessary changes to curb money laundering and the hijacking of B.C.’s housing supply by the wealthy elite. Finance Minister Carole James has invested in affordable housing, and Minister Melanie Mark (advanced education, skills and training) advocates for harm reduction. Health Minister Adrian Dix and our remarkable provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry have been trailblazers in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting public health. These people, and many others, are to be loudly applauded for their outstanding public service.

To further protect vulnerable citizens, we have a representative for children and youth, and an advocate for seniors. To strengthen our democracy and assure access to information along with the right to privacy, we have an information and privacy commissioner.

Now we need an advocate for the environment, as those entrusted with managing our forests and protecting wildlife and our unparalleled environment seem to be too focused on feeding mills and log export orders at the expense of the many ecological benefits forests provide.

Karyn Woodland
Metchosin

Struggling to maintain compassion

It is indeed frustrating to witness the never ending growth of tent cities and the attendant crime, violence, detritus and drug use. It is easy to fall into anger and hostility. I share those same feelings and am struggling to maintain compassion and understanding.

Complex issues demand patience to fully comprehend. There is no timely access to detox and the continuum of services and supports the homeless need. Housing is only one element to recovery. It is a start but the long road to rehabilitation requires a plethora of supports and services not currently available on the scale required to meet the need.

The true hallmark of a civil society is how the vulnerable are supported. We need to quickly move in the direction of comprehensive rehabilitation services.

Tony Earle
Victoria

Camping at park can’t continue

My wife and I have owned a getaway property in Victoria for five years and have finally screwed up the courage to come out and visit our condo during the pandemic. We feel safe, secure and welcomed in our second home, but were shocked to walk through Beacon Hill Park today.

We knew there was a protest going on, but had no idea of the scope of the spread of tents, motor homes and campsites. We read today that the Capital Regional District has denied use of an available building for the use of the homeless, (notwithstanding that the building was suitable for 55+ residents). We have no problem with lawful protest and we understand the need to deal with the homeless crisis (coming from Alberta) but surely long-term camping in a beautiful park like this can’t continue and bylaws should be enforced.

Jon and Shauna Rossall
Victoria/Edmonton

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