Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On advocacy

Cathie has nicely pointed out a few of the problems with the latest from the Star-Phoenix editorial board, this time slamming the idea of First Nations patient advocates. But let's ask a couple of additional questions about the editorial which seem to suggest a gap between how the Star-Phoenix has approached the FSIN proposal and how it's treated other health questions.

Here's the passage which particularly piques my interest:
There is a danger, should the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations get its wish of a patient advocate to address problems some First Nation people feel they have in obtaining health care, that it will result in longer lines, exponential cost increases and another layer of bureaucracy in a system front-line workers already complain is heavily bureaucratized.
Let's ask first: has the Star-Phoenix ever raised even the slightest concern that patient advocates or patient-first review processes make for needless bureaucracy in any context other than the FSIN's proposal? (On my first look the answer seems to be "no", but I'm curious if I've missed something.) And if not, then why would it be that the lone area of Saskatchewan's health-care system where the Star-Phoenix disapproves of advocate-type roles is the one where there are serious jurisdictional issues for patients to navigate?

And then there's the second issue raised by the Star-Phoenix' choice of cover. Since when is anybody at CanWest interested in front-line staff concerns about the allocation of resources in the health sector? And how quickly will that interest be forgotten when it comes time for the next editorial on, say, wage negotiations?

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