Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Why is Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams Having Heart Surgery in the U.S.?

Isn't the answer obvious? And of course, this should be a huge story in the press, but so far it's mostly Canadian outlets covering it. But see Pirate's Cove, "Hey, Mr. Canadian Premier, Where Do You Go For Heart Surgery? USA, USA!" And also, the National Post, "N.L. Premier Williams Set to Have Heart Surgery in U.S" (via Memeorandum):

Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams will undergo heart surgery later this week in the United States.

Deputy premier Kathy Dunderdale confirmed the treatment at a news conference Tuesday, but would not reveal the location of the operation or how it would be paid for.

"He has gone to a renowned expert in the procedure that he needs to have done," said Ms. Dunderdale, who will become acting premier while Mr. Williams is away for three to 12 weeks.

"In consultation with his own doctors, he's decided to go that route."

Mr. Williams' decision to leave Canada for the surgery has raised eyebrows over his apparent shunning of Canada's health-care system.

"It was never an option offered to him to have this procedure done in this province," said Ms. Dunderdale, refusing to answer whether the procedure could be done elsewhere in Canada.

Mr. Williams, 59, has said nothing of his health in the media.

"The premier has made a commitment that once he's through this procedure and he's well enough, he's going to talk about the whole process and share as much detail with you as he's comfortable to do at that time," she said.
Reports indicate that Williams could have surgery elsewhere in Canada, and without a wait time. But clearly, the fact that he's choosing to fly to the U.S. indicates just that: choice. I'll have to check with some Canadian blogging buddies, but it's a huge extra expense of time, money, and worry for someone in Newfoundland to be required to travel to another province to have such surgery done. The premier's decision to travel to the U.S. is a massive repudiation of the Canadian system. We do have some Canadians blogging this already: See Ezra Levant, "Danny Williams Flies to U.S. Health Clinics, Just Like Jean Chretien Did," and Kate at Small Dead Animals gets right to the point: "It should be a Criminal Code offence for any sitting member of parliament or provincial MLA to leave Canada for medical treatment." (Hat Tip: Ed Morrissey.)

Photo Credit: CTV Calgary. The Newfoundland provincial government page is here.


Unknown said...

Oh and healthcare is sacred so long as Liberals don't have to suffer.

Government Mess said...

Excellent piece! I find it amazing how people come from around the world to get the best healthcare and the Democrats want to destroy it with a Socialized plan...Government is out of control and we have to stop them! Voting for true conservatives is the only way to stop this madness!

Revnant Dream said...

Just like the American Congress. The politicians here get a real health plan.That of course tax payers pay for. We get medical triage based on cost & age.
Our American cousins have to be nuts to adopt anything even close to any socialized plan.
You will end up with third rate equipment with any research in medicine gone except for that designated by the State.
In socialized Medicine that is run by medical morons known as lawyers & politicians. Death panels are the bottom line.

Unknown said...

Universal health care eats up 45% of our budget in Canada. It,s a free for all by those who hold the power over peoples health. I don't know what it is in Britton, But I understand it runs about the same. If this selfmade millionaire premier wants to get out of the line and go to the pay or pray system in America, hey go right ahead.Someone without all the millons just moves up the line. If Pres. Obama can get a poor man healthcare for a decent price, in a timely manner, maybe we Canadians can borrow him to fix the mess we have up here. Contrary to what some of my American friends think, its not all free. Drug cost and long term care often bankrupt Canadian families. Access to family doctors is difficult.Even if you can get into the system, if you tick off the wrong people, you can go to the hospital, but they don't have to treat you. Yes, even in our system, it is often a pay or pray situation. Hope I didn't burst too many bubbles folks, but believe me when I say that our high taxes are paying for a system that only works for some. This guy is both rich and powerful. Those folks nver wait in line.

Patrick said...

The system is not as bad as you like to think in Newfoundland. Government of Newfoundland pay the second highest cost per capita for its residents. Yes he went to the states without jumping the cue. He can afford it why not.As for the States if you have a heart attack in Boston with no health coverage it will bankrupt you. In Grand Falls-Windsor Newfoundland the cost you will get first class treatment form the government.This is the difference. Our health system is not perfect but it is not broke.

BerigVintrange said...

my father was a factory worker here in upstate N.Y. he had open heart surgery after retirement, his medicare and private insurance paid most the tab, he worked his butt off in a dirty mill, in retirement he bought a sailboat and joined a fiddler's group and thrived, he's 86 and still fiddling, my mother had cancer for five years and then went home to the Lord, that too was paid by their insurance, premiums are a-boot two hundred a month, medicare paid a huge part, the system worked for them, Dad never shunned work, sent me to college- in Ottawa, I know both sides of the 49th paradox, I know too that Canadians have no idea what it's really like down here, their liberals make them think they're living in some utopia, good for votes, but, I feel perfectly safe living in Rochester, NY car-free for years. I lived in Ottawa, felt threatened on the streets there no less than here- had my apartment on Rideau broken into - while I was home even. I would like health care for all and know it can be done, based on OEDC stats. As for Danny Williams, anyone who knows Canadian politics knows he's a character extraordinaire - who really played with Paul Martin's and Ottawa's head a few years ago. I wish him a speedy recovery.