To the Editor:
We commend The Gazette’s efforts at encouraging students to become more informed on important issues before casting their ballot.
We also feel that a major election issue is the privatization of health care. This issue will affect every one of our lives, as everyone will at some time need to utilize the health care system.
We think the privatization of health care would have several negative effects, including:
• Increased risk of infection, as maintenance companies hired by privatized hospitals save money by cutting corners in order to increase profit
• On average, 20 per cent fewer hospital beds
• More expensive hospitals
• 11 per cent fewer doctors and 14 per cent fewer nurses
• Generally less accountability to the public
A research study at McMaster University showed death rates are higher in for-profit hospitals than in not-for-profit. This is because the shareholders decide the type of delivery for health care and are mostly interested in saving money. So they hire less skilled personnel to care for patients.
When you go to vote in January, we urge you to be aware of the position each party holds on such issues as the privatization of health care.
and Melanie Bissonnette