• 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Annadanna
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    To paraphrase Kathy Dunderdale- we are the caretakers of our own health. More than 50% of the people in this province have health issues directly related to their lifestyle choices. Our healthcare system is overburdened with preventable diseases not lack of funding.

  • Kieran
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    The answer to the problem of healthcare in Canada is not to side with American conservatives or run to the US for surgery. The answer is MORE MONEY for healthcare here in Canada, and a fair tax system that will make the rich and the large corporations to pay their fair share. It's time for government to stand on the side of the People and not be bought out by the likes of Bay Street.

  • isabel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Healthy dose of hyprocisy - I entirely agree with Brian Jones' column - especially the last paragraph..

  • Ernie the other half
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    And now for something completely different ; Sumo wrestler Akinori announced his retirement today .

  • Jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Brian, what a spin doctor you are! I hope Danny spells your name correctly on the cheque.

    The REAL hypocrisy here is that Danny will do nothing to improve the healthcare in NL during his watch but when faced with a health crisis of his own, he flees to the US.

    Of course the doctors advised him that it should be done sooner, or that he should go elsewhere for treatment. They advise that to EVERYONE!! (Not everyone has the $$ to be able to do it though.)

    They also know (better than most) what a pisspoor job he's done to improve the system.

    A doctor telling him to go elsewhere is NOT an endorsement of rapid healthcare, it's a sad statement of fact and an accusation of incompetance to the man responsible for it.

    People are too busy drooling over what a wonderful person he is (even though they've never personally met him) to realize they're getting screwed.

    Reminds me of the Smallwood era - we're still paying for his follies!!

  • Byron
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Brian, you rock, man!

  • Scott
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Redneck from BC, why would insurance based system stop people from going South? Almost 1 million American have to go South for critical surgery they can't afford in their own country and/or are caught up forever in insurance company red tape.

    Your Canada-bashing is
    not based on any logic.

    Hypocrisy? That would be Danny's cult Newfoundlanders not demanding an insurance based system. When are you going to? Dont worry, when you lose your home again, the rest of Canadians will bail you out as usual, which is something you also will never get elsewhere.

  • DJ
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    It seems to me that the writer, and most commentators, are missing the point here... the cost of providing health care privately and for-profit is so much more expensive on a patient by patient basis as to be exclusive to most. When done within a well organized public system, it can be inclusive and effective. To hyperbolize, what if the premier had, rather than gone to the U.S. for treatment, paid for the construction of the best hospital in the world, and flown every doctor in the world to it in order to treat him. Obviously, he would get the best possible treatment in this case, but the rest of us? Wouldnt be a very good situation I imagine.

  • James
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Interesting article, however it is shy of the truth on many matters. 1st the IDEA of the Canadian system is ok but NOT perfect where still NOT all receive help (I won't call it care) they need, the IDEA of the American system is terrible where ONLY select few get help (again I won't call it care). The FACT is BOTH are broken and MUST be reformed.
    The Canadian system almost killed me as a child and worked to keep me suffering in the system causing suffering most of my life. If I had been in the States I would have received the same care for a higher price.
    The TRUTH is those in health care in Canada and the US are NOT properly trained nor properly paid.
    I had to go to Ukraine to find real doctors (you can find them in other places as well, but it is extremely hard in North America), trained in health care. Ones who are not paid to rush patients through the system, shove drugs down their throats regardless of side effects, treating symptoms and masking the underlying causes.
    I found doctors who with old out dated poor equipment were able to use the symptoms to diagnose the underlying cause, treat it naturally 1st and foremost, then consider and discuss drugs advising of any and all side effects, with surgery as a last possible fix. They spent the time with me to work out the true nature of the illness and a proper path to better and maintained health.
    These doctors have the right attitude, direct translation from a doctor who helped me when I asked why he did not ask me about insurance, money etc: I am a doctor, it is my duty. You need my help, why should it matter if you have money, insurance, where you are from, who you are. You need my help that is all I need to know.
    The doctors are paid a monthly SET salary, according to their position and level of expertise NOT on how many people they rush through the system, NOT on how many pills they push or how many surgeries they get the hospital. These are TRUE and CARING professionals.
    That is what we need in North America.

  • Exactitude
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    While not being a fan of Danny this is one time that I believe he is right in following his own medical needs. As it has been said by many, if the money was available in our bank account we too would go where the best treatment is. Many of our medical specialists are from foreign countries like China and India that in my mind is a weakness in our own schooling. Our Canadian youth are not being encouraged to become top medical specialists. Canada does not have enough super top medical people causing long waiting lists. Our public medical system is a joke. It is run by dunderheads who care more about the furniture in their tax funded office than in trying to build a great system that serves us all. It is right that Danny Williams look after himself, as our medical system is such a sham that he would probably have had a heart attack waiting for an operation here.

  • Heartless Albertan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Well the username says it all. The fact of the matter is that in my own family the provincial health authority has had to farm out 2 of my immediate family members spouses to the somehow inferior American System. Until we realize that public corporations are a breeding ground for inefficiency and bureaucracy we are never going to have an effective health care system and will continue to wait for sub par services. The fact of the matter is that we are forced to pay out the nose in taxes (WE DO NOT HAVE FREE HEALTH CARE) for our health care service without any real way of deciding what kind of care we receive or ability to insure the quality of care we receive. At least in the U.S. hardworking individuals who endeavor to make correct choices, both economically and in matters of personal health have access to one of the best health care systems in the world. Yes its true that those who fail to take care of themselves will be denied insurance coverage and potentially suffer as a result, sounds like plain old common sense to me. I have never been able to comprehend how it is that so many Canadians are willing to allow the slothful and debased lifestyles of so many to become their own financial burden. Let those who make choices in life that allow them the comforts of good health and employer paid insurance enjoy it. To the rest of you, do something with your life to make sure that you shouldn't need the system and when you find the rare circumstances when you do that you can afford the coverage.

  • Gary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    This is just foolish. Danny Williams the premier should be judged for the job he's doing. And it's a great one.

    Danny Williams the husband, father, grandfather etc... should not be judged by anyone on the decisions he makes on healthcare. That is simply put a decision between he and his family.

    This is a non-issue. What's worse, the media (with the exception of the author here) is looking for a story where no story exists.

    While he cites the G&M, the true and initial culprit is alot closer to home. The CBC and David Cochrane in particular jumped on this as if it were going to deliver a pulitzer. Cochrane has yet to put his Liberal Party bias aside in covering any story concerning the Premier. Sad part is, this is neither a liberal or conservative issues but rather a personal one.

    Get well Premier Williams. Get well Mr. Williams. Hopefully the strain of this b.s. is not too much for you or your family.

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Once a Canadian always a Canadian. Our forfathers who fought and died for our counrty would be shaking there heads to know that our leaders could do such a thing as parade in front of the poor, but heh, he got his surgury. Our health care system is hurting but not dead. Give our nurses and surgeons a pat on the back, and the politicians a slap for being shameful in there decisions.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    No the point of this whole thing is Danny is and has been in a position of power, and lets face it an overwhelming majority that he could have done something with the healthcare system in the proinvce and has ignored it. The public, docotor's. nurse's have all been saying for years - we have a problem and he took the nurses' to brinkmanship only a year ago. NO, enough cool aid drinkers, he should have done his job BUT he is more interested in the oil, who cares if many NL ers die in the meantime.

  • Sean
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Danny Williams isn't just some rich guy. You would think that the politicians of any country should be the first to submit themselves to the very processes that they themselves have deemed through legislature to be both reasonable and acceptable to the vast majority, who have little to no choice.

    What is egregious here is the timing. And of all things that politicians should be aware of, it is how the public will perceive their actions in the context of current events. How poorly does our country look now, and what answers or alternative does Danny Williams offer to those who aren't rich guys, which, let's face it, are almost always the ones who are making the laws in every country?

    Danny Williams pretends to wield the sword of a champion of public interest. What we see now is that, really, he's prefers to live and die by a silver spoon, ne plus ultra, having gone weak in the knees at an increased .5% chance of death.

    Ave imperator, morituri te salutant!

    ( Hail emperor, those who about to die salute you! )

  • Gerry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Who has the time to be concerned about
    someone elses heart problem?

  • Chris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Pfft from Ontario After reading your article I thought I'd just comment that I am old enough to be outraged by his actions and choice to go to the states rather than using this chance to use our system see it's shortcoming then try to find a way to brinf it up to par
    Ummm, sorry pal but using using heart surgery to find the shortcomings in the healthcare system is sort of like driving your car off a bridge to see if the seatbelts and airbags work. You'll find out in a hurry, but you probably won't live to tell anybody the results.

  • Jane
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Who Cares. Good for him. If Danny has the money let him go where he wants. My parents are from NL and I know they don't have the best health care. It will take a lot to fix it. Look at the breast cancer mix up. And as for people waiting for 6 mths for heart surgery it is sad but some of the heart problems could have been prevented by health and diet. No health care system is perfect. If you have the money to go else wear then so be it. After all it is your life.

  • Pete
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Eddy McMac from Graveyton, Ontario... You obviously don't have a clue about NL's relationship with Canada.

    We've heard it all before from a million people from the mainland. You think a few million in equalization is taking money out of your pocket when in reality all of the money NL has historically pumped into the Canadian economy never figures into the equation.

    You don't consider that Canada makes billions every year from oil and mineral royalties, federal income tax, hydro power, etc, from NL. None of this was ever entered into the equalization calculations.

    I find your comments ignorant and offensive and I wonder why I can even still view them based on the Telegram's terms of use.

  • Roberta
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    It all boils down to one simple thing when it comes to government subsidized health care: people who cannot afford health care will settle for anything...when it's free.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Everyone keeps blaming the federal government, but what a lot of people don't realize that the responsibility for health care is up to each province...and one of the major problems with funding isn't that the federal government is not giving enough, its what the provinces does with the money when they get it! They spend it on other projects..like road repairs etc...remember the average joe doesn't get sick every day but he does drive on our roads most everyday and if they are in bad shape he blames the government for not spending enough on up keep..so the government spends money on the roads because less complaining means votes and it makes it seem like they are dooing what the people want....the average joe only complaints about health care when he has to visit the hospital or the doctor and that only happens maybe once a year or even every two years!!! So maybe we should be looking at how the money that the provinces receive from Ottawa is spent!!

  • rod
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    In the american system, if your obese, smoke and drink, you will probally either be denied insurance or pay more for it. In canada the tax payers are the ones are burdened with picking up your complete negligence in taking care of yourself . So look in the mirror and look at the dinner plate, stop smoking and turn off the television.

  • Michael
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Danny Williams' actions cannot be defended. They are disgraceful and I hope he gets better, and then gets run out of town.

    When the King says what I have provided for you is good enough for you, but not good enough for me, he is saying he is better than you. That he is not like you. That you should be satisfied with your lot, but he deserves better.

    Well he is no better than the rest of us. This is our system, this is our country, this is where he made his money. In my opinion, you dance with what brung ya . If Danny wants to be an American - let him!

  • Liz
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    You have it wrong. This is a man that shoves your socialist wait times down your throats while he the capitalist does as he pleases. The message is wrong and you are quite frankly fooling yourselves for believing otherwise. What an insult to your Drs not just from NL but all of Canada-and all of your health care workers. There is no way his problem couldn't be taken care of in Canada, unless your Dr's are incompetent. I'm guessing he is in Florida.

  • Darren
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Sure our system isn't perfect but that is only because we as Canadians don't wish to spend more of our tax base on medical care. It hard to blame him but on the other hand most politicians aren't up the the task of fixing the broken part of our medical system.

    The college of physicians should be held accountable for a lot of this mess, they don't want to certify more doctors so they can keep the demand high and wages along with it. We need more doctors and nurses so the wait lists can shrink, overtime doesn't need to be paid.

  • Leia
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    And what would everyone be saying if the premier had died because he couldn't get the surgery he needed in his own province or had been put on a waiting list in another province?

  • Simeon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Jack Layton announced his battle with prostate cancer, I wish him a speedy recovery and a clean bill of health.
    I do have a bit of suspicion of his Christmas vacation down south, did he go to receive treatment?

  • PJ Stamp
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    RE: Healthy Dose of Hypocrisy - Brian Jones

    Whether your assessment of a gutted national health-care system obviously unable to meet the needs of Canadians is accurate or not is a subjective call.
    The notion however that large numbers of Canadians seek medical refuge in the U.S. is clearly not true. In a recent study on 'Canadian Use of Health Care Services in the U.S.' supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the authors (Katz et al) found the reverse - that the cross-border flow of care-seeking patients appears to be very small. In one survey of 18,000 respondents, 90 had received treatment in the U.S. in the previous year but only 20 of those had gone there for that purpose. The authors conclude that despite the lack of evidence, notions of Canadians fleeing south for treatment can never be laid to rest because they are useful to some powerful interests . Indeed a significant number of Americans travel elsewhere for treatment. They include those on the high end and the low end of the income scale. In California alone, one million people seek medical services in Mexico each year. Canadian hospitals also treat Americans who come to this country because they lack insurance at home. Even those with money routinely seek lower cost treatments elsewhere, including Britain where the cost of cardiac procedures are US$10,000 less than in the States. Of course there are problems with health care in Canada but they result, in part, from our adherence to the principle of universality. We don't leave the poor to die outside emergency room doors. Mr. Jones argues that by electing a succession of cost-cutting governments, we have crippled the health care system. The truth however is that the funding of Medicare in this country is already placing a huge strain on taxpayers. Aside from our private insurance premiums, drugs and out-of-pockets, we each contribute upwards of $5,000 per year through taxes to Medicare. Of course we would all like to see that money spent more efficiently but, in large measure, what we are experiencing is the impact of an aging baby boom - retirees whose health care costs are largely now being downloaded on a sparser, less well heeled crop of young people coming behind us. And there is every indication that the problem will get much worse before it gets better. What's really missing from the equation unfortunately is the practice of preventative health care. Contrary to the popularized view however, our dietary and lifestyle deficiencies are not easily overcome by will-power alone. For those made to feel guilty about their poor diet for example, they should understand that the deck is stacked against them. No longer are we surrounded by food only in grocery stores and supermarkets but virtually every big box store now offers foodstuffs - the vast majority of it loaded with toxins and badly lacking in nutrition. Brightly colored packages with lethal quantities of saturated fats, trans-fats, salt, sugar, refined grains and artificial preservatives dominate the shelves. Even so-called 'fresh' chicken can be found loaded with salt and sugar nowadays. Governments can't or won't do anything to regulate the scramble by food industry giants and fast-food restaurants to gain more market share with ever more tasty but knowingly unhealthy offerings that are pushed at us by every billboard, television station and mailbox flyer. The sad thing is that most of the diseases which are overwhelming our doctors and hospitals are preventable. We all know that of course, but we just can't bring ourselves or our governments to do anything about it.

    And what has all this got to do with Williams. Nothing. We know of course that right-wingers will use him as a poster boy in the U.S. for their crusade against health care reform in that country. We know that his political foes in Canada would like to exploit his personal medical crisis to undermine his demands for fair treatment on everything from fisheries management to hydro-electric development to offshore oil sharing to equalization payments. Public opinion in NL, as shown by the Telegram's own poll, is solidly behind the Premier. That, of course, did not stop the usual 'Danny-bashing' Telegram editorials and online comment section long since commandeered by a band of rabid mercenaries. It is late in the day and after the damage is done, but Mr. Jones' article is actually far more objective when it comes to Williams' right to seek medical attention wherever he and his doctors think best. Indeed the only media in this province or any other to treat the Premier's personal health crisis as that - personal - was NTV. Others including the Telegram and CBC seem offended that Williams did not bring his x-rays and a doctor's note to them personally before leaving. The Deputy Premier provided the basic facts - that Williams was in need of cardiac surgery that was not generally available in NL (or at least not employing the choice of treatment they were recommending). She noted that while all cardiac surgery involved danger, his prognosis was good but he would be away for a while. It is quite probable that he could have had the procedure somewhere else in Canada. As we can see from what Mr. Wangersky calls a 'firestorm' however, the U.S. offered a much greater degree of privacy, respect and anonymity than he could have expected in Toronto or Montreal. And if my doctors were telling me that I couldn't travel for a few weeks after the surgery, I'd certainly prefer to spend that time in the Florida sun than a hotel in downtown Toronto in the middle of February.

    We can only hope that Williams and his family will not to take to heart the opportunistic, invasive, nasty and hypocritical 'firestorm' created and fed by the media in this province and elsewhere in response to his plight. The truth of course is that the vast majority of people in this province appreciate his efforts on their behalf, respect his right to privacy on such personal matters, and have nothing but well wishes for his full recovery.

  • Darrell
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Heartless in Alberta should better have identified themselves as Coward in Alberta for being unwilling to identify themselves. Sadly we have appx. 20% of these selfish, greedy, rednecks here - mostly who have gained their wealth by Tory Government handouts - Corporate Socialists -and often Americans who are determined to import their failing system to Canada with the intent of stuffing their pockets with $$$ from the illnesses of others. Shame on them!

  • Feb5
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    PJ Stamp: you might want to check some figures other than ones you give regarding how many Canadians cross the border from Canada to the States for health care, care that they pay for but is not available at home.
    Check Lisa Priest's column in the Mar.12, 2008 Globe and Mail: in 2007, over 6,000 patients - six thousand! - were sent to the States from Ontario alone, and that did not even include cardiac and neurosurgical cases. These are known cases funded by the province's OHIP out of country coverage; countless other Ontarians simply go on their own and pay their own way, with no way of tracing them.
    This patient exodus has been going on for years under Dalton McGuinty's Liberals, who raised taxes, delisted services and closed emergency departments in Ontario's single-payer nightmare; yet still, Ontario's health care according to McGuinty, eats up HALF of Ontario's budget; and, Ontario is now in a $25 Billion deficit - which is cause for MORE cuts, and so it goes.
    We cannot continue to trust and to allow governments to run health care as a monopoly.

  • redneck
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Bravo! Finally the correct argument! Improve health care for everyone and for crying out loud admit that dying waiting for heart surgery is still death.

    Could Williams make health care better for all in Newfoundland and Labrador? Not without federal political support.

    Want to stop people from going south? Allow insurance and private care in Canada. Why does it even matter that he went south. He probably saved another Canadians life by allowing them to take his Canadian surgery spot.

    Dying for better care in both the US and Canada does not serve any of the citizens of either country very well. If you are liberal you are probably an Obama-Canuck. If you want to be a humanitarian and jeer the worst political performance in the health care arena since Billary; boo Obama. Leave Danny, as crazy as he may be, to recover in peace.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Brian,You and all canadians that think the poor people of the U.S. don't get free medical attention don't know what your talking about. Hospitals here can't refuse treatment to anyone. Its the law.

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    TO PHIL FROM ONTARIO. You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to put down a person who has just gone through a seious operation of which you know nothing. Of course I would not expect any more from you seeing as how you are from Ontario. Typical of your province.

  • Taxpayer lV
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    All the mainland morons are vocal today. The jealousy these people have is really pathetic. This operation wasn't available here you morons, don't you get it? As far as the feds go, they have systematically gutted healthcare funding, and completely downloaded this incredibly costly, and important national service onto the provinces. Her in NL we are approching 70% of our budget now being spent on healthcare. When does the madness stop. The Premier did everyone in Canada a favor by taking just a little bit of the strain off the system, and paying for it himself. why don't you morons worry about your own provinces health care issues, and flock off.

  • Reality
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    What the lefties (lead by Brian here) are forgetting that Mr. Williams IS the Gatekeeper for Canadian Health Care. IF HIS province can not deliver the medical treatments he requires... Then, as Priemier, HE should address his provinces shortfall. Healthcare is a provincial matter.
    So... Don't defend him, rather point him out as the problem. A POLITICIAN that choses to exploit his wealth to get around a problem. Something ONLY the wealthy can do.

  • Ed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Did you notice that Jack Layton is not running to the USA to be treated for his prostate cancer? Maybe he's less of a hypoctite than I had assumed.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    There's not much doubt that no one in the local media would now dare to have any other opinion. It would certainly be the end of their career, and they'd quite possibly have their house burnt down.

    Safest thing to do is agree with the majority, perhaps even raise your career profile by joining in with the mob.

    Rex Murphy, too, showed a shockingly pragmatic side on this one.

  • Dianne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Great Article Brian...Danny Williams did exactly what the rest of us would have done put in the same situation. My mother had 2 open heart operations and my husband had 1. I am quite familiar with the difficulities and the long recovery time. If there was anyway they could have went elsewhere and had a shorter recovery time, we would have done it. Danny is expected to back at work in a month, which is excellent. Normally it is a minimum of eight weeks, so as far as I am concerned he not only did right for himself but he did the right thing for the people of Newfoundland Labrador, by trying to have the shortest recovery possible and get back to work.

  • Eli
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Question; Who's paying for Danny's operation. Him or Newfoundland/Lab?

  • Pfft
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    After reading your article I thought I'd just comment that I am old enough to be outraged by his actions and choice to go to the states rather than using this chance to use our system see it's shortcoming then try to find a way to brinf it up to par.

    I am certainly not a hypocrite considering I have known for a very long tiem that our healthcare system isn't always up to par and have spoken out about it on many occasions.
    However I'm still young enough that I wasn't responsible for voting the current mp into power.

    That being said you may point fingers and call us all hypocrites for not seeing the problems of the system how ever that doesn't make what Williams did any less hypocritical or wrong.

    Changing the target of the outrage shouldn't be his way of getting off the hook.

  • chris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    private health care and insurance companies mean a two tier health care system, if you got the money you got the health care. maybe mr williams is thinking of starting an hmo of his own.

  • Betty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Many people in the USA are not able to afford health insurance.The only recourse for the poor or uninsured in the USA is to go to the emergency room where, by law, they have to be treated or go through the humiliating process of applying for charity care if they are poor enough. Many people who have jobs but no insurance end up in poverty or bankrupcy, loosing their homes and their savings. Even the insured are not always covered fully and are at the mercy of their insurance company okaying or denying their treatment.
    At least in Canada everyone is treated the same and no one looses their home and life savings paying for medical care.

  • Ur
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Well, after all the squawking, might anyone in Nfld actually notice that a world of surgeons, specialists, nurses are not beating down the doors to live and work in St. John's? It's a nice place, I've been there, when I got off the plane the taxi driver gave me the flat-rate, guided tour, into town. Even went so far as to point out Danny's house. So I know it's a nice place. But I haven't heard of a single specialist clamouring for privileges at a hospital in the province. That might explain some of the wait. And it might also explain the wait in Greater Armpit, BC.

    And I doubt that Danny's trip into the 'States actually kept a poor person from getting treatment - he will have checked into some hospital that is cash up front, private this, private that - and the poor are not often seen around that place, other than to scrounge through the garbage bins.

    If wait-times are your problem move where health-care providers want to be, not where you want to be - why, by growing up in such a place I got literally instant access to a CT scan - and when an MRi, X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound and echo-cardiogram were requested I wasn't waiting weeks or months.

    Or, heaven forbid, stop expecting that ever-greater amounts of money can be spent to keep all of us alive for an extra 90 days. And stop expecting the health-care system to squander resources to keep people, perhaps me, to keep me alive just long enough to have an instant-replay of the last disaster.

    Nor am I without experience in difficulties involved in 'pulling the plug' on friends and relatives. Along with the kids of my ex-partner I helped decide not 'if' she was going to die, but when. My 'best friend,' an uncle for whom I still feel a great fondness, went vegetative in a hospital. Again he would have died 'eventually,' but I alone had to make the decision that ended, early, a long, protracted, dying. Oh, and saved BC several hundred thousand dollars in expenses.

  • james
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    williams new poster boy for private health care canadians are idiots

  • Lila
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Bravo to brave journalist! My sentiments exactly. And I'm talking from experience. Two years ago my husband needed operation for advanced prostate cancer. His waiting period in Regina, Sask. - 6 months. We decided to go to Poland, country of our origins, and he had his operation done in 2 weeks. I ask you all, if you are gravely sick and you have means and will to rescue yourself from possibly death, would you wait patiently and humbly for the operation, which is not in so near future? My husband lives and still works and hopefuly has many years to enjoy. I'm definitely NOT grateful to Canadian health system.

  • Polly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I see no evidence of reasoned thinking or train of thought intended to establish a considered opinion.Speculative conjecture is not fact.Surely the journalist's job is to eliminate hypothetical supposition .Anything else is nothing more than the work of a novelist .

  • Leah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Rex Murphy said it all correctlly in a nutshell last night.

  • fenway
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    We all know that no matter what King Danny needed it was avialable in Canada(Ottawa,Toronto,Calgary,or Edmonton). We also know that if someone must have care right away ,we would go to the front of the line(just kidding). But we do know that if a premier needs the care,he will get to the front of the line and get the best doctor there is.So what he is telling me is that he has more faith in U.S. doctors than Canadian doctors.

  • Maureen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    People have little to do, or think about. I applaud Mr. Williams for doing it his way. Mr. Williams is not taking from the public purse...so, those of you that don't understand or appreciate his actions.....get a life. Or just sit around, continue to smoking, ingesting your trans fats and waste whatever brain cells you have left on matters that are of no concern to you.

    Mr. Williams wishing you a speedy recovery.

  • Joe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    In reading this and the accompanying comments I see a different picture about the Canadian health system. I applaud Danny for doing whats right for him. He does not accept a salary for his job as Premier so what right do people have to gripe at him for using his own money to obtain the best health care available. Due to his position as Premier, he might have even been pushed to the top of the waiting list and thereby depriving someone else of a life saving slot. He may have saved a life by opting to come south. To those griping lets see the timeline in the health system. How long it would take the average person from the time he/she was diagnosed, to the time they could expect to receive the necessary approvals and care? Now let each person waiting for health care, tell me if they had the money and opportunity would they do the same thing as Danny and opt to get the most immediate and finest health care available for themselves or their loved ones? I think so.

  • laura
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    I say live and let live, what a bunch of hypocrites out there you would all do the same if you had the bucks, we newfoundlanders should be thanking our PREMIER for where we are today, we can hold our heads high and be proud people, our resources have been pillaged and plundered for decades,as for the upalongs who think we were takers all along think again,we now have it, right on Brian, best wishes DANNY

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Once a Canadian always a Canadian. Our forfathers who fought and died for our counrty would be shaking there heads to know that our leaders could do such a thing as parade in front of the poor, but heh, he got his surgury. Our health care system is hurting but not dead. Give our nurses and surgeons a pat on the back, and the politicians a slap for being shameful in there decisions.

  • Gwyn
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Canadians are just being duped by elected politicians who are funded by US private medical care monsters interested in having our universal health care system eroded to the point that we demand private options. Our health care system is being choked at source by politicians looking to 'repay' their funding sources. We don't need health care reform. We need election funding reform.

  • Eddy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Hollow, antiCanadian bluster. But what do you expect from a province that has survived on the hands-outs from the rest of Canada? Surely not
    an graciousness.

    Bypass surgery in Ontario is on average 55 days.

    There were no wanton claims of superiority of the Canadian Health Care system. But plenty of common-sense measured analysis of the Canada-hating poison spewed from the usual suspects down South.

    Of course, the gloating Canada-haters seemed to have missed a point in their hysterical back-patting: Whats it like to live in a system where a wealthy foreigner can swagger over your border and get immediate attention that most Americans cant get on their own soil?

    Williams, with a history of antiCanadian political stunts deserved every bit of skepticism he received.

    I say an insurance based health system for all of Newfoundland be implemented immediately:
    Why should Williams gushing hordes be subjected to 'inferior' health care?

  • Hmmmer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    It's really interesting and quite funny to hear the anti-universal health care side spew such moronic statements.

    If you don't want state(taxpayer) funded health care be cause you are ideologically opposed then throw away your police, fire, postal, CBSA, ferries, etc. etc.

    It's all taxpayer funded and why not?

    It's the service we want.

    No system is going to be perfect but that doesn't mean it should be discarded.

    Fix it! If we hadn't wasted 12 billion in Astan we could have whatever health care we VOTED for.

    Health care is NOT a commodity it a right!

  • CurtNrod
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    But,
    What poor person in the USA died or suffered because Danny took up the
    table space.

  • Richard
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Awesome. We're back to attacking evil newspapers on behalf of the people. Good to see Newfoundland journalism is back on track. Keep up the great work.

  • Brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    I remember hearing that the issue was he couldn't receive surgery for his ailment in his province. He was wanting to make a statement regarding that I believe, by going south. They have oil in them thar waters; Alberta seems to benefit hugely; what about these easterners???

    The rich always have the ability to afford things the rest of us can't. Isn't that life?! Look at the price of tickets for the men's final olympic hockey game.....I have to realise my place and take the chance to see it in my livingroom; or maybe at one of the theatre's showing the events on the big screen if I have a few extra bucks. The public health care system cannot achieve the best timely care for all when it is to be accessible for ALL. We can add taxes to our taxes; hire more doctors and then pay them at least 2/3's of what the USA doctors get; buy more equipment.....great. But, there's that tax thing. My wallets already hard pressed for regular healthy living expenses. Universal health care for all is thankfully for ALL; as long as one stays alive long enough to get it.

    Perspective has to do with the big picture.....big pics take time to absorb all the artistic expression detailed within.

    Have a great day my fellow Canadians;
    God keep our land...Glorious and Free.
    Ahhh, but that's another discussion....
    ;-)

  • BIG DADDY
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Great article . Really gets to the heart of the matter!! I think ANYONE in Danny William's position ;wealth wise I mean , would do the EXACT same thing !! The hipocrisy lies with those that say they would not . Give everyone a break and stop the self-rightious bull!!

  • Joanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I do think that if any of us had a serious health problem, or a loved one, and had the financial means to have the surgery done faster elsewhere, we'd do the same thing as Premier Williams. If he had stayed here and was put at the top of the Wait List, thereby, bumping others, then there would be outrage. So he was in a no-win situation.
    However, I do feel envious because I had a loved one very, very ill last Spring and Summer, and in July he needed an oxygen machine. He had to wait until OCTOBER to see a Respiratory Specialist.
    He passed away in August.
    I do, however, sincerely wish Premier Williams a good speedy recovery and yesterday he was in my thoughts and prayers most of the day for a successful operation.

  • Brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    We need to change our health care system as badly as the U.S. needs to fix theirs. When any of us needs medical care we don't care how it gets done. I fully support a parallel private medical system AFTER we pass into law the requirement for a fixed percentage of GDP, say using the last 10 years as a reference, be allocated to Medicare. Those that can afford the private system, as Mr Williams has done, can and will go that route leaving a shorter line-up for the rest of us.

  • Geoffrey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Great article Brian. Here in Prince Albert a surgeon has use of an operating theatre only one day per week. This is crazy.

  • mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    GOD blessDANNY WILLIAMS and long may his big jib draw.As for the globe and mail they suck,they should still have their heads in the sand,after the negative and abusive comments made by them against Newfoundlanders during the startup of our oil exploration,they were ranting and roaring that we were robbing the canadian taxpayers,in reality it was the best investment the taxpayers of this country ever made,they have made billions on their investment.The people at the globe and mail should still be picking feathers out of their teeth,from the crow they should have eaten.I never did hear an apology but what else can you expect from a bunch of sucky babies.Hang in there BRIAN proud of you.

  • Jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Bravo Brian. You are articulating the opinion of the majority of Newfoundlanders - as for those other idiots and naysayers (including but not limited to the Globe and Mail) - well .......

  • Susan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Dear sir, you have made several valued points. However, when speaking obout the Province of Newfoundland, you fall short to point out said elected politician and the assembly are scrambling to deny the intrinsic weaknesses in the health system they are sworn to office to maintain and improve. MRI, anyone? Even if you were able to get one, it would not be read correctly. Mr Williams demonstrated a HUGE lack of faith in his province's ability to care for him in what is today fairly common surgical treatment for heart conditions. Danny Williams DID NOT trust his own to care for him. A Premier does not wait, who are fooling? Danny was a rich man and Did Not want care at home but care abroad where he felt safer and shame on him, because he was elected to care for the health trust of his province and Danny finds it easier to stick his head in a hole and say 'It is all good, don't worry'. And takes a trip. No one is naive about a public health system but being ill won't be the $ as in the States. That Premier denies, yes Denies, others who need special treatment re-imbursement for a States trip. Now who is he to do that now? Especially when there Are cardiac surgeons in the province. I sincerely hope the people of Newfoundland check to see if the public health system reimburses Danny with Public money to equal the Canadian cost of surgery, while denying the average citizen the same. Danny Williams gave Newfoundlanders the finger, never you mind. Just ask any person with orthopedic suffering. Honestly if Politician had the ablility, Danny Williams should be shamed. Susan Redman

  • Gordon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Well Jones I hope you are feeling proud of yourself , with this article you just proved that illiteracy is alive and well in NL. I predict that this article will come back to bite you .

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    No brain er. You got the means get best and fastest health care you can. We would all do the same. Its your heart for Gods sake. Wish him well and hope he is back soon full of even more pea and vinegar than before. Can you believe they wouldn't let me use the other p word here. Doesn't have same effect . LOL

  • Greg
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I don't remember any government running on a platform that EXPLICITLY promised to cut medicare to reduce the deficit. But I agree with the spirit of what you are describing, which is a large segment of the Canadian public, that has a knee-jerk reaction to defend this sad health 'care' system we have, whose tune changes quickly when they find themselves in a wait queue with a life threatening illness. Canadians, ALL of us, need to WAKE UP and acknowledge the very REAL gross deficiencies of our health system so that we can get to fixing things. And that might entail CHANGING ones vote to a non-mainstream political party, and likely looking off-continent to examples of systems that combine the best parts of public AND private care.

  • keith
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Healthy hypocrisy? Healthy for Danny, yes. Nice for him to have the cash to take advantage of the situation. A situation that leaves 120 million in the USA (for times the size of the entire population of Canada) faced with poverty or bankrupcy should they find themselves in the same position as the Premier. With no recourse to the Canadian system.

    I hope Danny uses the health he purchased at the cost of his integrity, in extraordinary effort to make changes that benefit those who suffer under the system that has worked so nicely to his advantage. Otherwise he is just a hypocrite,, and his action here not worthy of his office.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    If it is perfectly acceptable to spend your hard-earned dollars on American medical services, then why is it anathema to permit those dollars to be spent in Canada?

  • William
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Brian,

    Where has your head been over the last 10 years brother. WE ARE ABOSOLUTELY SICK OF LOOKING TO OURSELVES, we are giving the government tax increase after tax increase and all they do is use it to pay the governement employees more. We DONT need large private medical corporations that will relieve us of our life saving during our most difficult times in need. WE DO NEED BETTER MANAGEMENT OF OUR TAX DOLLARS AND public servants.

    WE have given enough, its now time for them to start producing.

  • Max
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Well said Brian. Last night on The National, another person with great wisdom, Rex Murphy echoed your sentiments. When it comes down to a persons health, it's between him and his doctor, and whoever else the ill person wishes to inform. It's really no one else's business, especially The Globe and Mail.

  • Darrell
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    .. the American healthcare system, which, as all Canadians know from a young age, lets wealthy people live and lets poor people die. This is the message this article must cause Canadians to reflect upon, not the fact Premier Williams chose to go to a private US medical facility. The remarks that Canadians are hypocrits for not complaining about the short falls of our Canadian system does an injustice to an otherwise good article. 99% of Canadians who I know are most unhappy with our politicians for not adaquately funding our system but are gradually selling out an excellent, not perfect, system to the private corporate sector whose primary goal is to make $$$$ not provide quality health care to the majority. Over 46 million Americans have no health care coverage and healthcare costs cause more personal bankruptcies in the USA than all others.

  • Pamela
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Personally I think that it is absolutely ludicrous that this is even an issue at all. With confidentiality being the issue in health care that it has been in recent years, I can't believe that people are not sitting back and realizing that this is really not any of the public's business. Just as I don't want the entire world to know about my medical problems, the Premier is entitled to his privacy just like you or I. He shouldn't have to justify anything because nobody should know but Premier Danny Williams himself. It's a definite case of 'too much info'!

  • canuckrs4
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    author misses point here.
    the hypocrisy is that DW is a mouthpiece for the canadian government and a staunch supporter of our healthcare system.
    you or i or anyone who is not in a position of authority in the government can go to india if we choose for treatment and we will not be judged by our actions. when you are an elected official, you have a responsibility to live up to what you say and do, and if not, suffer the consequences. in his position, i would not have gone south. he could have easily gone to ontario if needed, there is no reason other than a comfy bed and private nurses pampering him to go anywhere else.

  • Taxpayer lV
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Well said.

  • Brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    I have no problem with Mr. Williwams, Private Citizen, purchasing and receiving medical treatment in the US. It is clearly his choice and he has the means to pay. The problem that I have is that he (and his fellow premiers, cabinet minister, federal ministers and our dear PM) blusters about the wonderful health care system we have then runs to our southern neighbour at the first opportunity. He and his ilk are the hypocrites in this!
    Brian

  • Phuck
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    the news story reminds me of joke --A Newfoundlander, was walking home late at night and sees a woman in the shadows. Twenty dollars she whispers. Hed never been with a hooker before, but decides what the hell,its only twenty bucks. So they hide in the bushes.

    Theyre going at it for a minute when all of a sudden a light flashes on them . Its a police officer. Whats going on here, people? asks the officer. Im making love to my wife, the Newfoundlander answers indignantly.

    Oh, Im sorry, says the cop, I didnt know.
    Well, neidder did I, til ya shined that light in her face. says the Newfie

  • Annadanna
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    To paraphrase Kathy Dunderdale- we are the caretakers of our own health. More than 50% of the people in this province have health issues directly related to their lifestyle choices. Our healthcare system is overburdened with preventable diseases not lack of funding.

  • Kieran
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    The answer to the problem of healthcare in Canada is not to side with American conservatives or run to the US for surgery. The answer is MORE MONEY for healthcare here in Canada, and a fair tax system that will make the rich and the large corporations to pay their fair share. It's time for government to stand on the side of the People and not be bought out by the likes of Bay Street.

  • isabel
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Healthy dose of hyprocisy - I entirely agree with Brian Jones' column - especially the last paragraph..

  • Ernie the other half
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    And now for something completely different ; Sumo wrestler Akinori announced his retirement today .

  • Jim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Brian, what a spin doctor you are! I hope Danny spells your name correctly on the cheque.

    The REAL hypocrisy here is that Danny will do nothing to improve the healthcare in NL during his watch but when faced with a health crisis of his own, he flees to the US.

    Of course the doctors advised him that it should be done sooner, or that he should go elsewhere for treatment. They advise that to EVERYONE!! (Not everyone has the $$ to be able to do it though.)

    They also know (better than most) what a pisspoor job he's done to improve the system.

    A doctor telling him to go elsewhere is NOT an endorsement of rapid healthcare, it's a sad statement of fact and an accusation of incompetance to the man responsible for it.

    People are too busy drooling over what a wonderful person he is (even though they've never personally met him) to realize they're getting screwed.

    Reminds me of the Smallwood era - we're still paying for his follies!!

  • Byron
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Brian, you rock, man!

  • Scott
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Redneck from BC, why would insurance based system stop people from going South? Almost 1 million American have to go South for critical surgery they can't afford in their own country and/or are caught up forever in insurance company red tape.

    Your Canada-bashing is
    not based on any logic.

    Hypocrisy? That would be Danny's cult Newfoundlanders not demanding an insurance based system. When are you going to? Dont worry, when you lose your home again, the rest of Canadians will bail you out as usual, which is something you also will never get elsewhere.

  • DJ
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    It seems to me that the writer, and most commentators, are missing the point here... the cost of providing health care privately and for-profit is so much more expensive on a patient by patient basis as to be exclusive to most. When done within a well organized public system, it can be inclusive and effective. To hyperbolize, what if the premier had, rather than gone to the U.S. for treatment, paid for the construction of the best hospital in the world, and flown every doctor in the world to it in order to treat him. Obviously, he would get the best possible treatment in this case, but the rest of us? Wouldnt be a very good situation I imagine.

  • James
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Interesting article, however it is shy of the truth on many matters. 1st the IDEA of the Canadian system is ok but NOT perfect where still NOT all receive help (I won't call it care) they need, the IDEA of the American system is terrible where ONLY select few get help (again I won't call it care). The FACT is BOTH are broken and MUST be reformed.
    The Canadian system almost killed me as a child and worked to keep me suffering in the system causing suffering most of my life. If I had been in the States I would have received the same care for a higher price.
    The TRUTH is those in health care in Canada and the US are NOT properly trained nor properly paid.
    I had to go to Ukraine to find real doctors (you can find them in other places as well, but it is extremely hard in North America), trained in health care. Ones who are not paid to rush patients through the system, shove drugs down their throats regardless of side effects, treating symptoms and masking the underlying causes.
    I found doctors who with old out dated poor equipment were able to use the symptoms to diagnose the underlying cause, treat it naturally 1st and foremost, then consider and discuss drugs advising of any and all side effects, with surgery as a last possible fix. They spent the time with me to work out the true nature of the illness and a proper path to better and maintained health.
    These doctors have the right attitude, direct translation from a doctor who helped me when I asked why he did not ask me about insurance, money etc: I am a doctor, it is my duty. You need my help, why should it matter if you have money, insurance, where you are from, who you are. You need my help that is all I need to know.
    The doctors are paid a monthly SET salary, according to their position and level of expertise NOT on how many people they rush through the system, NOT on how many pills they push or how many surgeries they get the hospital. These are TRUE and CARING professionals.
    That is what we need in North America.

  • Exactitude
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    While not being a fan of Danny this is one time that I believe he is right in following his own medical needs. As it has been said by many, if the money was available in our bank account we too would go where the best treatment is. Many of our medical specialists are from foreign countries like China and India that in my mind is a weakness in our own schooling. Our Canadian youth are not being encouraged to become top medical specialists. Canada does not have enough super top medical people causing long waiting lists. Our public medical system is a joke. It is run by dunderheads who care more about the furniture in their tax funded office than in trying to build a great system that serves us all. It is right that Danny Williams look after himself, as our medical system is such a sham that he would probably have had a heart attack waiting for an operation here.

  • Heartless Albertan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Well the username says it all. The fact of the matter is that in my own family the provincial health authority has had to farm out 2 of my immediate family members spouses to the somehow inferior American System. Until we realize that public corporations are a breeding ground for inefficiency and bureaucracy we are never going to have an effective health care system and will continue to wait for sub par services. The fact of the matter is that we are forced to pay out the nose in taxes (WE DO NOT HAVE FREE HEALTH CARE) for our health care service without any real way of deciding what kind of care we receive or ability to insure the quality of care we receive. At least in the U.S. hardworking individuals who endeavor to make correct choices, both economically and in matters of personal health have access to one of the best health care systems in the world. Yes its true that those who fail to take care of themselves will be denied insurance coverage and potentially suffer as a result, sounds like plain old common sense to me. I have never been able to comprehend how it is that so many Canadians are willing to allow the slothful and debased lifestyles of so many to become their own financial burden. Let those who make choices in life that allow them the comforts of good health and employer paid insurance enjoy it. To the rest of you, do something with your life to make sure that you shouldn't need the system and when you find the rare circumstances when you do that you can afford the coverage.

  • Gary
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    This is just foolish. Danny Williams the premier should be judged for the job he's doing. And it's a great one.

    Danny Williams the husband, father, grandfather etc... should not be judged by anyone on the decisions he makes on healthcare. That is simply put a decision between he and his family.

    This is a non-issue. What's worse, the media (with the exception of the author here) is looking for a story where no story exists.

    While he cites the G&M, the true and initial culprit is alot closer to home. The CBC and David Cochrane in particular jumped on this as if it were going to deliver a pulitzer. Cochrane has yet to put his Liberal Party bias aside in covering any story concerning the Premier. Sad part is, this is neither a liberal or conservative issues but rather a personal one.

    Get well Premier Williams. Get well Mr. Williams. Hopefully the strain of this b.s. is not too much for you or your family.

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Once a Canadian always a Canadian. Our forfathers who fought and died for our counrty would be shaking there heads to know that our leaders could do such a thing as parade in front of the poor, but heh, he got his surgury. Our health care system is hurting but not dead. Give our nurses and surgeons a pat on the back, and the politicians a slap for being shameful in there decisions.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    No the point of this whole thing is Danny is and has been in a position of power, and lets face it an overwhelming majority that he could have done something with the healthcare system in the proinvce and has ignored it. The public, docotor's. nurse's have all been saying for years - we have a problem and he took the nurses' to brinkmanship only a year ago. NO, enough cool aid drinkers, he should have done his job BUT he is more interested in the oil, who cares if many NL ers die in the meantime.

  • Sean
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Danny Williams isn't just some rich guy. You would think that the politicians of any country should be the first to submit themselves to the very processes that they themselves have deemed through legislature to be both reasonable and acceptable to the vast majority, who have little to no choice.

    What is egregious here is the timing. And of all things that politicians should be aware of, it is how the public will perceive their actions in the context of current events. How poorly does our country look now, and what answers or alternative does Danny Williams offer to those who aren't rich guys, which, let's face it, are almost always the ones who are making the laws in every country?

    Danny Williams pretends to wield the sword of a champion of public interest. What we see now is that, really, he's prefers to live and die by a silver spoon, ne plus ultra, having gone weak in the knees at an increased .5% chance of death.

    Ave imperator, morituri te salutant!

    ( Hail emperor, those who about to die salute you! )

  • Gerry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Who has the time to be concerned about
    someone elses heart problem?

  • Chris
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Pfft from Ontario After reading your article I thought I'd just comment that I am old enough to be outraged by his actions and choice to go to the states rather than using this chance to use our system see it's shortcoming then try to find a way to brinf it up to par
    Ummm, sorry pal but using using heart surgery to find the shortcomings in the healthcare system is sort of like driving your car off a bridge to see if the seatbelts and airbags work. You'll find out in a hurry, but you probably won't live to tell anybody the results.

  • Jane
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Who Cares. Good for him. If Danny has the money let him go where he wants. My parents are from NL and I know they don't have the best health care. It will take a lot to fix it. Look at the breast cancer mix up. And as for people waiting for 6 mths for heart surgery it is sad but some of the heart problems could have been prevented by health and diet. No health care system is perfect. If you have the money to go else wear then so be it. After all it is your life.

  • Pete
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Eddy McMac from Graveyton, Ontario... You obviously don't have a clue about NL's relationship with Canada.

    We've heard it all before from a million people from the mainland. You think a few million in equalization is taking money out of your pocket when in reality all of the money NL has historically pumped into the Canadian economy never figures into the equation.

    You don't consider that Canada makes billions every year from oil and mineral royalties, federal income tax, hydro power, etc, from NL. None of this was ever entered into the equalization calculations.

    I find your comments ignorant and offensive and I wonder why I can even still view them based on the Telegram's terms of use.

  • Roberta
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    It all boils down to one simple thing when it comes to government subsidized health care: people who cannot afford health care will settle for anything...when it's free.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Everyone keeps blaming the federal government, but what a lot of people don't realize that the responsibility for health care is up to each province...and one of the major problems with funding isn't that the federal government is not giving enough, its what the provinces does with the money when they get it! They spend it on other projects..like road repairs etc...remember the average joe doesn't get sick every day but he does drive on our roads most everyday and if they are in bad shape he blames the government for not spending enough on up keep..so the government spends money on the roads because less complaining means votes and it makes it seem like they are dooing what the people want....the average joe only complaints about health care when he has to visit the hospital or the doctor and that only happens maybe once a year or even every two years!!! So maybe we should be looking at how the money that the provinces receive from Ottawa is spent!!

  • rod
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    In the american system, if your obese, smoke and drink, you will probally either be denied insurance or pay more for it. In canada the tax payers are the ones are burdened with picking up your complete negligence in taking care of yourself . So look in the mirror and look at the dinner plate, stop smoking and turn off the television.

  • Michael
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Danny Williams' actions cannot be defended. They are disgraceful and I hope he gets better, and then gets run out of town.

    When the King says what I have provided for you is good enough for you, but not good enough for me, he is saying he is better than you. That he is not like you. That you should be satisfied with your lot, but he deserves better.

    Well he is no better than the rest of us. This is our system, this is our country, this is where he made his money. In my opinion, you dance with what brung ya . If Danny wants to be an American - let him!

  • Darren
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Sure our system isn't perfect but that is only because we as Canadians don't wish to spend more of our tax base on medical care. It hard to blame him but on the other hand most politicians aren't up the the task of fixing the broken part of our medical system.

    The college of physicians should be held accountable for a lot of this mess, they don't want to certify more doctors so they can keep the demand high and wages along with it. We need more doctors and nurses so the wait lists can shrink, overtime doesn't need to be paid.

  • Liz
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    You have it wrong. This is a man that shoves your socialist wait times down your throats while he the capitalist does as he pleases. The message is wrong and you are quite frankly fooling yourselves for believing otherwise. What an insult to your Drs not just from NL but all of Canada-and all of your health care workers. There is no way his problem couldn't be taken care of in Canada, unless your Dr's are incompetent. I'm guessing he is in Florida.

  • Leia
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    And what would everyone be saying if the premier had died because he couldn't get the surgery he needed in his own province or had been put on a waiting list in another province?

  • Simeon
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Jack Layton announced his battle with prostate cancer, I wish him a speedy recovery and a clean bill of health.
    I do have a bit of suspicion of his Christmas vacation down south, did he go to receive treatment?

  • PJ Stamp
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    RE: Healthy Dose of Hypocrisy - Brian Jones

    Whether your assessment of a gutted national health-care system obviously unable to meet the needs of Canadians is accurate or not is a subjective call.
    The notion however that large numbers of Canadians seek medical refuge in the U.S. is clearly not true. In a recent study on 'Canadian Use of Health Care Services in the U.S.' supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the authors (Katz et al) found the reverse - that the cross-border flow of care-seeking patients appears to be very small. In one survey of 18,000 respondents, 90 had received treatment in the U.S. in the previous year but only 20 of those had gone there for that purpose. The authors conclude that despite the lack of evidence, notions of Canadians fleeing south for treatment can never be laid to rest because they are useful to some powerful interests . Indeed a significant number of Americans travel elsewhere for treatment. They include those on the high end and the low end of the income scale. In California alone, one million people seek medical services in Mexico each year. Canadian hospitals also treat Americans who come to this country because they lack insurance at home. Even those with money routinely seek lower cost treatments elsewhere, including Britain where the cost of cardiac procedures are US$10,000 less than in the States. Of course there are problems with health care in Canada but they result, in part, from our adherence to the principle of universality. We don't leave the poor to die outside emergency room doors. Mr. Jones argues that by electing a succession of cost-cutting governments, we have crippled the health care system. The truth however is that the funding of Medicare in this country is already placing a huge strain on taxpayers. Aside from our private insurance premiums, drugs and out-of-pockets, we each contribute upwards of $5,000 per year through taxes to Medicare. Of course we would all like to see that money spent more efficiently but, in large measure, what we are experiencing is the impact of an aging baby boom - retirees whose health care costs are largely now being downloaded on a sparser, less well heeled crop of young people coming behind us. And there is every indication that the problem will get much worse before it gets better. What's really missing from the equation unfortunately is the practice of preventative health care. Contrary to the popularized view however, our dietary and lifestyle deficiencies are not easily overcome by will-power alone. For those made to feel guilty about their poor diet for example, they should understand that the deck is stacked against them. No longer are we surrounded by food only in grocery stores and supermarkets but virtually every big box store now offers foodstuffs - the vast majority of it loaded with toxins and badly lacking in nutrition. Brightly colored packages with lethal quantities of saturated fats, trans-fats, salt, sugar, refined grains and artificial preservatives dominate the shelves. Even so-called 'fresh' chicken can be found loaded with salt and sugar nowadays. Governments can't or won't do anything to regulate the scramble by food industry giants and fast-food restaurants to gain more market share with ever more tasty but knowingly unhealthy offerings that are pushed at us by every billboard, television station and mailbox flyer. The sad thing is that most of the diseases which are overwhelming our doctors and hospitals are preventable. We all know that of course, but we just can't bring ourselves or our governments to do anything about it.

    And what has all this got to do with Williams. Nothing. We know of course that right-wingers will use him as a poster boy in the U.S. for their crusade against health care reform in that country. We know that his political foes in Canada would like to exploit his personal medical crisis to undermine his demands for fair treatment on everything from fisheries management to hydro-electric development to offshore oil sharing to equalization payments. Public opinion in NL, as shown by the Telegram's own poll, is solidly behind the Premier. That, of course, did not stop the usual 'Danny-bashing' Telegram editorials and online comment section long since commandeered by a band of rabid mercenaries. It is late in the day and after the damage is done, but Mr. Jones' article is actually far more objective when it comes to Williams' right to seek medical attention wherever he and his doctors think best. Indeed the only media in this province or any other to treat the Premier's personal health crisis as that - personal - was NTV. Others including the Telegram and CBC seem offended that Williams did not bring his x-rays and a doctor's note to them personally before leaving. The Deputy Premier provided the basic facts - that Williams was in need of cardiac surgery that was not generally available in NL (or at least not employing the choice of treatment they were recommending). She noted that while all cardiac surgery involved danger, his prognosis was good but he would be away for a while. It is quite probable that he could have had the procedure somewhere else in Canada. As we can see from what Mr. Wangersky calls a 'firestorm' however, the U.S. offered a much greater degree of privacy, respect and anonymity than he could have expected in Toronto or Montreal. And if my doctors were telling me that I couldn't travel for a few weeks after the surgery, I'd certainly prefer to spend that time in the Florida sun than a hotel in downtown Toronto in the middle of February.

    We can only hope that Williams and his family will not to take to heart the opportunistic, invasive, nasty and hypocritical 'firestorm' created and fed by the media in this province and elsewhere in response to his plight. The truth of course is that the vast majority of people in this province appreciate his efforts on their behalf, respect his right to privacy on such personal matters, and have nothing but well wishes for his full recovery.

  • Darrell
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Heartless in Alberta should better have identified themselves as Coward in Alberta for being unwilling to identify themselves. Sadly we have appx. 20% of these selfish, greedy, rednecks here - mostly who have gained their wealth by Tory Government handouts - Corporate Socialists -and often Americans who are determined to import their failing system to Canada with the intent of stuffing their pockets with $$$ from the illnesses of others. Shame on them!

  • Feb5
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    PJ Stamp: you might want to check some figures other than ones you give regarding how many Canadians cross the border from Canada to the States for health care, care that they pay for but is not available at home.
    Check Lisa Priest's column in the Mar.12, 2008 Globe and Mail: in 2007, over 6,000 patients - six thousand! - were sent to the States from Ontario alone, and that did not even include cardiac and neurosurgical cases. These are known cases funded by the province's OHIP out of country coverage; countless other Ontarians simply go on their own and pay their own way, with no way of tracing them.
    This patient exodus has been going on for years under Dalton McGuinty's Liberals, who raised taxes, delisted services and closed emergency departments in Ontario's single-payer nightmare; yet still, Ontario's health care according to McGuinty, eats up HALF of Ontario's budget; and, Ontario is now in a $25 Billion deficit - which is cause for MORE cuts, and so it goes.
    We cannot continue to trust and to allow governments to run health care as a monopoly.

  • redneck
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Bravo! Finally the correct argument! Improve health care for everyone and for crying out loud admit that dying waiting for heart surgery is still death.

    Could Williams make health care better for all in Newfoundland and Labrador? Not without federal political support.

    Want to stop people from going south? Allow insurance and private care in Canada. Why does it even matter that he went south. He probably saved another Canadians life by allowing them to take his Canadian surgery spot.

    Dying for better care in both the US and Canada does not serve any of the citizens of either country very well. If you are liberal you are probably an Obama-Canuck. If you want to be a humanitarian and jeer the worst political performance in the health care arena since Billary; boo Obama. Leave Danny, as crazy as he may be, to recover in peace.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Brian,You and all canadians that think the poor people of the U.S. don't get free medical attention don't know what your talking about. Hospitals here can't refuse treatment to anyone. Its the law.

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    TO PHIL FROM ONTARIO. You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to put down a person who has just gone through a seious operation of which you know nothing. Of course I would not expect any more from you seeing as how you are from Ontario. Typical of your province.

  • Taxpayer lV
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    All the mainland morons are vocal today. The jealousy these people have is really pathetic. This operation wasn't available here you morons, don't you get it? As far as the feds go, they have systematically gutted healthcare funding, and completely downloaded this incredibly costly, and important national service onto the provinces. Her in NL we are approching 70% of our budget now being spent on healthcare. When does the madness stop. The Premier did everyone in Canada a favor by taking just a little bit of the strain off the system, and paying for it himself. why don't you morons worry about your own provinces health care issues, and flock off.

  • Reality
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    What the lefties (lead by Brian here) are forgetting that Mr. Williams IS the Gatekeeper for Canadian Health Care. IF HIS province can not deliver the medical treatments he requires... Then, as Priemier, HE should address his provinces shortfall. Healthcare is a provincial matter.
    So... Don't defend him, rather point him out as the problem. A POLITICIAN that choses to exploit his wealth to get around a problem. Something ONLY the wealthy can do.

  • Ed
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Did you notice that Jack Layton is not running to the USA to be treated for his prostate cancer? Maybe he's less of a hypoctite than I had assumed.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    There's not much doubt that no one in the local media would now dare to have any other opinion. It would certainly be the end of their career, and they'd quite possibly have their house burnt down.

    Safest thing to do is agree with the majority, perhaps even raise your career profile by joining in with the mob.

    Rex Murphy, too, showed a shockingly pragmatic side on this one.

  • Dianne
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Great Article Brian...Danny Williams did exactly what the rest of us would have done put in the same situation. My mother had 2 open heart operations and my husband had 1. I am quite familiar with the difficulities and the long recovery time. If there was anyway they could have went elsewhere and had a shorter recovery time, we would have done it. Danny is expected to back at work in a month, which is excellent. Normally it is a minimum of eight weeks, so as far as I am concerned he not only did right for himself but he did the right thing for the people of Newfoundland Labrador, by trying to have the shortest recovery possible and get back to work.

  • Pfft
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    After reading your article I thought I'd just comment that I am old enough to be outraged by his actions and choice to go to the states rather than using this chance to use our system see it's shortcoming then try to find a way to brinf it up to par.

    I am certainly not a hypocrite considering I have known for a very long tiem that our healthcare system isn't always up to par and have spoken out about it on many occasions.
    However I'm still young enough that I wasn't responsible for voting the current mp into power.

    That being said you may point fingers and call us all hypocrites for not seeing the problems of the system how ever that doesn't make what Williams did any less hypocritical or wrong.

    Changing the target of the outrage shouldn't be his way of getting off the hook.

  • Eli
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Question; Who's paying for Danny's operation. Him or Newfoundland/Lab?

  • chris
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    private health care and insurance companies mean a two tier health care system, if you got the money you got the health care. maybe mr williams is thinking of starting an hmo of his own.

  • Betty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Many people in the USA are not able to afford health insurance.The only recourse for the poor or uninsured in the USA is to go to the emergency room where, by law, they have to be treated or go through the humiliating process of applying for charity care if they are poor enough. Many people who have jobs but no insurance end up in poverty or bankrupcy, loosing their homes and their savings. Even the insured are not always covered fully and are at the mercy of their insurance company okaying or denying their treatment.
    At least in Canada everyone is treated the same and no one looses their home and life savings paying for medical care.

  • Ur
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Well, after all the squawking, might anyone in Nfld actually notice that a world of surgeons, specialists, nurses are not beating down the doors to live and work in St. John's? It's a nice place, I've been there, when I got off the plane the taxi driver gave me the flat-rate, guided tour, into town. Even went so far as to point out Danny's house. So I know it's a nice place. But I haven't heard of a single specialist clamouring for privileges at a hospital in the province. That might explain some of the wait. And it might also explain the wait in Greater Armpit, BC.

    And I doubt that Danny's trip into the 'States actually kept a poor person from getting treatment - he will have checked into some hospital that is cash up front, private this, private that - and the poor are not often seen around that place, other than to scrounge through the garbage bins.

    If wait-times are your problem move where health-care providers want to be, not where you want to be - why, by growing up in such a place I got literally instant access to a CT scan - and when an MRi, X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound and echo-cardiogram were requested I wasn't waiting weeks or months.

    Or, heaven forbid, stop expecting that ever-greater amounts of money can be spent to keep all of us alive for an extra 90 days. And stop expecting the health-care system to squander resources to keep people, perhaps me, to keep me alive just long enough to have an instant-replay of the last disaster.

    Nor am I without experience in difficulties involved in 'pulling the plug' on friends and relatives. Along with the kids of my ex-partner I helped decide not 'if' she was going to die, but when. My 'best friend,' an uncle for whom I still feel a great fondness, went vegetative in a hospital. Again he would have died 'eventually,' but I alone had to make the decision that ended, early, a long, protracted, dying. Oh, and saved BC several hundred thousand dollars in expenses.

  • james
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    williams new poster boy for private health care canadians are idiots

  • Polly
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    I see no evidence of reasoned thinking or train of thought intended to establish a considered opinion.Speculative conjecture is not fact.Surely the journalist's job is to eliminate hypothetical supposition .Anything else is nothing more than the work of a novelist .

  • Lila
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Bravo to brave journalist! My sentiments exactly. And I'm talking from experience. Two years ago my husband needed operation for advanced prostate cancer. His waiting period in Regina, Sask. - 6 months. We decided to go to Poland, country of our origins, and he had his operation done in 2 weeks. I ask you all, if you are gravely sick and you have means and will to rescue yourself from possibly death, would you wait patiently and humbly for the operation, which is not in so near future? My husband lives and still works and hopefuly has many years to enjoy. I'm definitely NOT grateful to Canadian health system.

  • Leah
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Rex Murphy said it all correctlly in a nutshell last night.

  • fenway
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    We all know that no matter what King Danny needed it was avialable in Canada(Ottawa,Toronto,Calgary,or Edmonton). We also know that if someone must have care right away ,we would go to the front of the line(just kidding). But we do know that if a premier needs the care,he will get to the front of the line and get the best doctor there is.So what he is telling me is that he has more faith in U.S. doctors than Canadian doctors.

  • Maureen
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    People have little to do, or think about. I applaud Mr. Williams for doing it his way. Mr. Williams is not taking from the public purse...so, those of you that don't understand or appreciate his actions.....get a life. Or just sit around, continue to smoking, ingesting your trans fats and waste whatever brain cells you have left on matters that are of no concern to you.

    Mr. Williams wishing you a speedy recovery.

  • Joe
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    In reading this and the accompanying comments I see a different picture about the Canadian health system. I applaud Danny for doing whats right for him. He does not accept a salary for his job as Premier so what right do people have to gripe at him for using his own money to obtain the best health care available. Due to his position as Premier, he might have even been pushed to the top of the waiting list and thereby depriving someone else of a life saving slot. He may have saved a life by opting to come south. To those griping lets see the timeline in the health system. How long it would take the average person from the time he/she was diagnosed, to the time they could expect to receive the necessary approvals and care? Now let each person waiting for health care, tell me if they had the money and opportunity would they do the same thing as Danny and opt to get the most immediate and finest health care available for themselves or their loved ones? I think so.

  • laura
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    I say live and let live, what a bunch of hypocrites out there you would all do the same if you had the bucks, we newfoundlanders should be thanking our PREMIER for where we are today, we can hold our heads high and be proud people, our resources have been pillaged and plundered for decades,as for the upalongs who think we were takers all along think again,we now have it, right on Brian, best wishes DANNY

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Once a Canadian always a Canadian. Our forfathers who fought and died for our counrty would be shaking there heads to know that our leaders could do such a thing as parade in front of the poor, but heh, he got his surgury. Our health care system is hurting but not dead. Give our nurses and surgeons a pat on the back, and the politicians a slap for being shameful in there decisions.

  • Gwyn
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Canadians are just being duped by elected politicians who are funded by US private medical care monsters interested in having our universal health care system eroded to the point that we demand private options. Our health care system is being choked at source by politicians looking to 'repay' their funding sources. We don't need health care reform. We need election funding reform.

  • Eddy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Hollow, antiCanadian bluster. But what do you expect from a province that has survived on the hands-outs from the rest of Canada? Surely not
    an graciousness.

    Bypass surgery in Ontario is on average 55 days.

    There were no wanton claims of superiority of the Canadian Health Care system. But plenty of common-sense measured analysis of the Canada-hating poison spewed from the usual suspects down South.

    Of course, the gloating Canada-haters seemed to have missed a point in their hysterical back-patting: Whats it like to live in a system where a wealthy foreigner can swagger over your border and get immediate attention that most Americans cant get on their own soil?

    Williams, with a history of antiCanadian political stunts deserved every bit of skepticism he received.

    I say an insurance based health system for all of Newfoundland be implemented immediately:
    Why should Williams gushing hordes be subjected to 'inferior' health care?

  • Hmmmer
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    It's really interesting and quite funny to hear the anti-universal health care side spew such moronic statements.

    If you don't want state(taxpayer) funded health care be cause you are ideologically opposed then throw away your police, fire, postal, CBSA, ferries, etc. etc.

    It's all taxpayer funded and why not?

    It's the service we want.

    No system is going to be perfect but that doesn't mean it should be discarded.

    Fix it! If we hadn't wasted 12 billion in Astan we could have whatever health care we VOTED for.

    Health care is NOT a commodity it a right!

  • CurtNrod
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    But,
    What poor person in the USA died or suffered because Danny took up the
    table space.

  • Richard
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Awesome. We're back to attacking evil newspapers on behalf of the people. Good to see Newfoundland journalism is back on track. Keep up the great work.

  • Brian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    I remember hearing that the issue was he couldn't receive surgery for his ailment in his province. He was wanting to make a statement regarding that I believe, by going south. They have oil in them thar waters; Alberta seems to benefit hugely; what about these easterners???

    The rich always have the ability to afford things the rest of us can't. Isn't that life?! Look at the price of tickets for the men's final olympic hockey game.....I have to realise my place and take the chance to see it in my livingroom; or maybe at one of the theatre's showing the events on the big screen if I have a few extra bucks. The public health care system cannot achieve the best timely care for all when it is to be accessible for ALL. We can add taxes to our taxes; hire more doctors and then pay them at least 2/3's of what the USA doctors get; buy more equipment.....great. But, there's that tax thing. My wallets already hard pressed for regular healthy living expenses. Universal health care for all is thankfully for ALL; as long as one stays alive long enough to get it.

    Perspective has to do with the big picture.....big pics take time to absorb all the artistic expression detailed within.

    Have a great day my fellow Canadians;
    God keep our land...Glorious and Free.
    Ahhh, but that's another discussion....
    ;-)

  • BIG DADDY
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Great article . Really gets to the heart of the matter!! I think ANYONE in Danny William's position ;wealth wise I mean , would do the EXACT same thing !! The hipocrisy lies with those that say they would not . Give everyone a break and stop the self-rightious bull!!

  • Joanne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    I do think that if any of us had a serious health problem, or a loved one, and had the financial means to have the surgery done faster elsewhere, we'd do the same thing as Premier Williams. If he had stayed here and was put at the top of the Wait List, thereby, bumping others, then there would be outrage. So he was in a no-win situation.
    However, I do feel envious because I had a loved one very, very ill last Spring and Summer, and in July he needed an oxygen machine. He had to wait until OCTOBER to see a Respiratory Specialist.
    He passed away in August.
    I do, however, sincerely wish Premier Williams a good speedy recovery and yesterday he was in my thoughts and prayers most of the day for a successful operation.

  • Brian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    We need to change our health care system as badly as the U.S. needs to fix theirs. When any of us needs medical care we don't care how it gets done. I fully support a parallel private medical system AFTER we pass into law the requirement for a fixed percentage of GDP, say using the last 10 years as a reference, be allocated to Medicare. Those that can afford the private system, as Mr Williams has done, can and will go that route leaving a shorter line-up for the rest of us.

  • Geoffrey
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Great article Brian. Here in Prince Albert a surgeon has use of an operating theatre only one day per week. This is crazy.

  • mike
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    GOD blessDANNY WILLIAMS and long may his big jib draw.As for the globe and mail they suck,they should still have their heads in the sand,after the negative and abusive comments made by them against Newfoundlanders during the startup of our oil exploration,they were ranting and roaring that we were robbing the canadian taxpayers,in reality it was the best investment the taxpayers of this country ever made,they have made billions on their investment.The people at the globe and mail should still be picking feathers out of their teeth,from the crow they should have eaten.I never did hear an apology but what else can you expect from a bunch of sucky babies.Hang in there BRIAN proud of you.

  • Jim
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Bravo Brian. You are articulating the opinion of the majority of Newfoundlanders - as for those other idiots and naysayers (including but not limited to the Globe and Mail) - well .......

  • Susan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Dear sir, you have made several valued points. However, when speaking obout the Province of Newfoundland, you fall short to point out said elected politician and the assembly are scrambling to deny the intrinsic weaknesses in the health system they are sworn to office to maintain and improve. MRI, anyone? Even if you were able to get one, it would not be read correctly. Mr Williams demonstrated a HUGE lack of faith in his province's ability to care for him in what is today fairly common surgical treatment for heart conditions. Danny Williams DID NOT trust his own to care for him. A Premier does not wait, who are fooling? Danny was a rich man and Did Not want care at home but care abroad where he felt safer and shame on him, because he was elected to care for the health trust of his province and Danny finds it easier to stick his head in a hole and say 'It is all good, don't worry'. And takes a trip. No one is naive about a public health system but being ill won't be the $ as in the States. That Premier denies, yes Denies, others who need special treatment re-imbursement for a States trip. Now who is he to do that now? Especially when there Are cardiac surgeons in the province. I sincerely hope the people of Newfoundland check to see if the public health system reimburses Danny with Public money to equal the Canadian cost of surgery, while denying the average citizen the same. Danny Williams gave Newfoundlanders the finger, never you mind. Just ask any person with orthopedic suffering. Honestly if Politician had the ablility, Danny Williams should be shamed. Susan Redman

  • Gordon
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Well Jones I hope you are feeling proud of yourself , with this article you just proved that illiteracy is alive and well in NL. I predict that this article will come back to bite you .

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    No brain er. You got the means get best and fastest health care you can. We would all do the same. Its your heart for Gods sake. Wish him well and hope he is back soon full of even more pea and vinegar than before. Can you believe they wouldn't let me use the other p word here. Doesn't have same effect . LOL

  • Greg
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    I don't remember any government running on a platform that EXPLICITLY promised to cut medicare to reduce the deficit. But I agree with the spirit of what you are describing, which is a large segment of the Canadian public, that has a knee-jerk reaction to defend this sad health 'care' system we have, whose tune changes quickly when they find themselves in a wait queue with a life threatening illness. Canadians, ALL of us, need to WAKE UP and acknowledge the very REAL gross deficiencies of our health system so that we can get to fixing things. And that might entail CHANGING ones vote to a non-mainstream political party, and likely looking off-continent to examples of systems that combine the best parts of public AND private care.

  • keith
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Healthy hypocrisy? Healthy for Danny, yes. Nice for him to have the cash to take advantage of the situation. A situation that leaves 120 million in the USA (for times the size of the entire population of Canada) faced with poverty or bankrupcy should they find themselves in the same position as the Premier. With no recourse to the Canadian system.

    I hope Danny uses the health he purchased at the cost of his integrity, in extraordinary effort to make changes that benefit those who suffer under the system that has worked so nicely to his advantage. Otherwise he is just a hypocrite,, and his action here not worthy of his office.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    If it is perfectly acceptable to spend your hard-earned dollars on American medical services, then why is it anathema to permit those dollars to be spent in Canada?

  • William
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Brian,

    Where has your head been over the last 10 years brother. WE ARE ABOSOLUTELY SICK OF LOOKING TO OURSELVES, we are giving the government tax increase after tax increase and all they do is use it to pay the governement employees more. We DONT need large private medical corporations that will relieve us of our life saving during our most difficult times in need. WE DO NEED BETTER MANAGEMENT OF OUR TAX DOLLARS AND public servants.

    WE have given enough, its now time for them to start producing.

  • Max
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Well said Brian. Last night on The National, another person with great wisdom, Rex Murphy echoed your sentiments. When it comes down to a persons health, it's between him and his doctor, and whoever else the ill person wishes to inform. It's really no one else's business, especially The Globe and Mail.

  • Darrell
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    .. the American healthcare system, which, as all Canadians know from a young age, lets wealthy people live and lets poor people die. This is the message this article must cause Canadians to reflect upon, not the fact Premier Williams chose to go to a private US medical facility. The remarks that Canadians are hypocrits for not complaining about the short falls of our Canadian system does an injustice to an otherwise good article. 99% of Canadians who I know are most unhappy with our politicians for not adaquately funding our system but are gradually selling out an excellent, not perfect, system to the private corporate sector whose primary goal is to make $$$$ not provide quality health care to the majority. Over 46 million Americans have no health care coverage and healthcare costs cause more personal bankruptcies in the USA than all others.

  • Pamela
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Personally I think that it is absolutely ludicrous that this is even an issue at all. With confidentiality being the issue in health care that it has been in recent years, I can't believe that people are not sitting back and realizing that this is really not any of the public's business. Just as I don't want the entire world to know about my medical problems, the Premier is entitled to his privacy just like you or I. He shouldn't have to justify anything because nobody should know but Premier Danny Williams himself. It's a definite case of 'too much info'!

  • canuckrs4
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    author misses point here.
    the hypocrisy is that DW is a mouthpiece for the canadian government and a staunch supporter of our healthcare system.
    you or i or anyone who is not in a position of authority in the government can go to india if we choose for treatment and we will not be judged by our actions. when you are an elected official, you have a responsibility to live up to what you say and do, and if not, suffer the consequences. in his position, i would not have gone south. he could have easily gone to ontario if needed, there is no reason other than a comfy bed and private nurses pampering him to go anywhere else.

  • Taxpayer lV
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Well said.

  • Brian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    I have no problem with Mr. Williwams, Private Citizen, purchasing and receiving medical treatment in the US. It is clearly his choice and he has the means to pay. The problem that I have is that he (and his fellow premiers, cabinet minister, federal ministers and our dear PM) blusters about the wonderful health care system we have then runs to our southern neighbour at the first opportunity. He and his ilk are the hypocrites in this!
    Brian

  • Phuck
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    the news story reminds me of joke --A Newfoundlander, was walking home late at night and sees a woman in the shadows. Twenty dollars she whispers. Hed never been with a hooker before, but decides what the hell,its only twenty bucks. So they hide in the bushes.

    Theyre going at it for a minute when all of a sudden a light flashes on them . Its a police officer. Whats going on here, people? asks the officer. Im making love to my wife, the Newfoundlander answers indignantly.

    Oh, Im sorry, says the cop, I didnt know.
    Well, neidder did I, til ya shined that light in her face. says the Newfie