Thursday, January 20, 2005

City staff gets larger still

Council's answer to the nationwide health care crisis: hire someone else to deal with it and give them a good salary in addition. I guess that is all part of the socialist game: those that yell the loudest get the most. I cannot think of a more ineffectual solution to the problem of the monopoly on health care in this province than this one:

City council added $100,000 to its already-burgeoning budget yesterday to recruit family doctors. Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco won her bid to get the funds, likely to hire a recruiter to help the more than 20,000 residents with no family doctor.

"I'm relieved," DeCicco said later.

"I think it's a really smart move to invest now, notwithstanding the budget pressures we face."


A year ago this Saturday, DeCicco announced the establishment of a task force to tackle the city's shortage of family doctors.

She said this month that she was aware of only one new family doctor who had set up a practice in the city during the last year.

DeCicco said other partners on the task force include hospital officials and owners of medical clinics looking to hire physicians.

Officials at London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care London couldn't be reached for comment.

Council heard a presentation by Jay Orchard, a task force member and manager of the Southwestern Ontario Medical Education Network.

Orchard urged council to hire a recruiter, noting that other municipalities across the region and province have succeeded, including Windsor, Chatham-Kent and Owen Sound.

"We're not in the ball game at all if we don't have a recruiter," Orchard said.


Coun. Paul Van Meerbergen opposed spending property tax dollars on a provincial problem.

"We're trying to micro-manage a provincewide systemic problem and it's inappropriate to expend property tax dollars for that purpose," Van Meerbergen said.