Wontcha let yer black heart show
Awwww… the Pwemiew’s feewings awe huwt.
Jerome! was taking no guff yesterday from Public Enemy Number – which number is she, now, 14? – Public Enemy Number 14, answering her treasonous question with a serious one:
MS MICHAEL: Mr. Speaker, in January, Eastern Health informed the public that they had developed a plan to deal with the rheumatology outpatient wait-list because of the impending loss of a doctor in May which will bring them down to four. As a result, 1,000 people with chronic non-inflammatory symptoms were dumped on family doctors who do not have the expertise or time to deal with these individuals. Rheumatologists say this is not a good change. Though there are four rheumatologists at present, in practice the rheumatologists say there really are only 2.5 of them doing full-time clinical work because of teaching and research commitments. Also, their workload will increase astronomically because we have a rapidly aging population.Hey, Jerome! You know what else would be a good question?
Mr. Speaker, I ask the Minister of Health and Community Services: What immediate action is he taking to recruit rheumatologists?
MR. KENNEDY: As I have indicated on many occasions in discussions in this House about health care, it is a very emotional issue, it is one that affects people’s lives; it affects everyone on a daily basis. The issue, Mr. Speaker, also relates to politicians and the people who serve in this House.
We know from what has gone on with the air ambulance – again, the height of the emotion. I say to the Leader of the NDP, I understand that in a Facebook Web site that was put up in St. Anthony, in talking about the Premier, that an NDP candidate of record suggested that the symbol for the Web site should be a black heart with a bullet hole in it. Is this the kind of action that is supported by the Leader of the NDP or is she going to do something about that? That would be my question to her, Mr. Speaker.
MS MICHAEL: Mr. Speaker, there are 89,000 people in the Province suffering from some form of arthritis. The outpatient wait times are 9.6 months for someone with an acute inflammatory condition or forty-two months for chronic non-inflammatory condition. Successful management of this debilitating disease needs prompt treatment. Delays mean peoples’ conditions will worsen. Mr. Speaker, we have a serious situation with regard to people suffering from the various forms of arthritis.
This minister has not answered my former question, so I have to ask him: How can he continue to do nothing in the face of the suffering of so many people in this Province?
MR. KENNEDY: Mr. Speaker, on March 30 I met with Brenda Kitchen, the Executive Director of the Arthritis Society and we discussed this issue of the shortage. We had an appointment set up with Dr. Hamilton, one of the rheumatologists, but he could not make it that day. So, Mr. Speaker, we are taking steps.
In relation to an allegation we are doing nothing, is what is the Leader of the NDP going to do about that candidate of record who made this comment that the Premier should have a - the symbol should be a black heart with a bullet hole in it? Do you support that position?
What, sir, is your opinion of the PC candidate of record, in the last three electoral events in the district of Humber West, who said, of officials at Eastern Health, that “They should be shot over there”?
Is this the kind of action that is supported by the Minister of Health?
Is he going to do something about that?
Does he support that position?