The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

November 2, 2009

Harper government already ‘failed miserably’ on swine flu;

It is not like Harper did not have the time or the resources to deal with it too..  Harper and his Conservative government are far better at announcing programs than in following them up and ensuring valid results.. cause they are bad, bad managers.  

Worst yet to come Health officials are warning Albertans to brace for a boom in the number of people who will fall severely ill with H1N1 as the virus hits its peak.

H1N1 patient influx expected Calgary Sun

Alberta hospitals feel flu pressure Vancouver Sun – – The Canadian Press – Metro Canada – Edmonton

 Unacceptably the problem for many Canadians this week is that there is now a sudden shortage of vaccine, just as it’s  demand is at its most intense.OTTAWA – Public Safety Canada, the agency charged with co-ordinating the federal response to threats such as the H1N1 flu, has yet to complete its emergency plan, the auditor general says. Two years after Parliament gave the department responsibility for emergency management leadership, the formal plan has yet to be finished and approved.  There is growing political and public anger over H1N1, as thousands flock to overwhelmed clinics for flu shots – but there’s no overall federal plan for emergencies, be they pandemics, floods, blackouts or terror attacks.  She said government is far better at announcing programs than in following them up and ensuring results  cause they are bad, bad managers.  Doing one’s best and falling is never good enough.. real competency is always needed still.

The federal job also is to approve the vaccine, to get it made and deliver to the provinces the sufficient  amounts they do order. The provincial job next  is to deliver health services to the public.The federal govt firstly has not even  done its job.  Canadians often  just silently put up with the continual incompetence, dismal, poor  service and whatever crap the politicians and bureaucrats decide to dole out.  As we all know, now anyone who complains about incompetence or bad service is right and justified.

What  went wrong and who is to blame for the unruly mess?  Many experts said on Monday the federal government and local public-health authorities made crucial mistakes. The marathon waiting lists, cancelled clinics and ill-timed shortages could have been avoided, for instance, had the seasonal flu vaccine been scrapped last summer and the pandemic version pushed into production earlier, argued Dr. Richard Schabas, Ontario’s former chief medical officer of health.  More controversy has swirled around the fact that private medical clinics in Ontario and B.C. – which charge their patients hundreds of dollars on top of medicare billings – have received thousands of doses of the sought-after shots. News also  that the federal government would be able to ship out only a fraction of the expected three million doses this week, leading to more waiting. 
OTTAWA – Critics are blasting the Harper government for its handling of the swine-flu outbreak as long lineups continue for flu shots and some provinces warn of dwindling supplies of H1N1 vaccine.
A number of provinces, including Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, face vaccine shortages after a production problem at the manufacturer’s plant last week slowed delivery of the drug.

An emergency swine-flu debate in the House of Commons was called Monday night after a request by the federal Liberals and NDP, who accused the Harper government of incompetence.

Thousands of Canadians have been vaccinated since Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq approved the H1N1 vaccine last month – after other countries had already begun vaccinations. But there have been long lineups, confusion and frustration across the country as people rush to get the vaccine and some are turned away.

Stephen. harper's values

Lower-than-expected production of the vaccine this week by Quebec-based manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline has meant some clinics have run out of supply. The drugmaker expects to ship roughly 436,00 doses of vaccine with an adjuvant – or booster compound – as well as about 225,000 doses of vaccine without the adjuvant, which are meant for pregnant women.

Opposition MPs peppered the Conservatives with questions in the Commons on Monday, asking why the vaccine rollout has been such a “failure” given that the government assured the public months ago it would be prepared.

Liberal MP Bob Rae said the government has two main responsibilities: “The first is to ensure a steady and reliable supply of vaccines for H1N1. The second is to provide leadership and information on a coherent pandemic response.”

“I would like to ask the government a very simple question: How could it have failed so miserably to execute these two critical responsibilities?” Rae asked.

Many persons are  concerned  that the flu  now is spreading so rapidly, and in some cases with such intensity, that it may well be getting ahead of the federal government’s ability  to prevent it’s escalation not just to even respond  fully to it.
 Extra Canadian flu vaccines sent abroad  “Speaking in British Columbia, Butler-Jones said the bulk exports were allowed because Canada had enough for its purposes.”  Alberta ran out of vaccine. Butler-Jones needs to be fired. Aglukakk needs to resign.  Can it get any better…Harper, Leona, and David Bulter-Jones…the 3 Stooges.

“This government has failed in its duties,” Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff added. He said the Tory government had ordered the vaccine too late, rolled it out later than several other countries, and failed to properly explain to Canadians how the vaccination campaign would work, “producing anguish in families.”

Many MPs were upset after some private medical clinics reportedly obtained H1N1 vaccine for paying customers while other Canadians lined up for hours or were turned away.

People are “particularly stunned to watch the rich sail by to get shots at private clinics that they cannot afford,” said NDP health critic Judy Wasylycia-Leis, calling it “absolutely galling.”  

Swine flu deaths in Ont. rise to 37; chief medical officer of health reports  TORONTO – Ontario’s chief medical officer of health says the number of people who have died in the province after contracting swine flu has risen to 37 
In British Columbia, the CDC’s weekly report on the pandemic H1N1 outbreak gripping B.C. also shows a startling increase in the number of hospitalizations attributed to the virus in the seven days ending Nov. 2. Hospitalizations totalled 199 for the entire period from the pandemic’s outbreak in April to Oct. 26. But another 162 people were admitted to hospital last week alone. Sixteen people, including a child from Yukon, have died in British Columbia since the outbreak began in April. Thirteen of the 15 British Columbians who died had underlying health problems, Hospitals are acquiring extra equipment and shutting down non-essential services to handle the rising number of flu cases requiring hospitalization and intensive care.  Hospitals are also being hobbled by increased staff absenteeism due to illness
Pandemic disproportionately infecting, killing young people: Study  As the sudden deaths of young children from H1N1 drive unprecedented demand for flu vaccine, a new study of the first 1,000 cases in California of H1N1 hospitalizations and deaths confirms the pandemic virus is disproportionately infecting and killing young people.  The study also shows obesity is emerging as a newly identified risk factor for severe H1N1. Of those adults whose body mass index, or BMI, was known, more than half — 58 per cent — were obese. Almost one-third did not have any other known condition that might increase their risk of dying from H1N1.  Overall, the report adds to growing evidence H1N1 is a different animal from regular seasonal flu, which normally is more dangerous to people over 65. The median, or midpoint age of hospitalized and fatal cases in California during H1N1’s first wave was 27; 32 per cent were children younger than 18.   “If you’re under the age of 50, this is a bad flu. This might be the worst flu experienced in 50 to 100 years,”
Ontario will run out of swine flu vaccine by end of week, says minister    TORONTO – Ontario will run out of the regular swine flu vaccine by the end of the week, forcing many immunization clinics to close and preventing priority groups from receiving the flu shot, Health Minister Deb Matthews said Wednesday.
With regard to the H1N1 swine flu every death and preventable death is one that is tragic and the decision by Ottawa and the provinces to develop a pandemic strategy based on a single vaccine supplier, GlaxoSmithKline is also turning out to be a very tragic one. Extra vaccine for the H1N1 virus has been exported out of Canada to other countries because producers are making more vaccines than can be stored in bottles, officials say. Dream on if you think this is really true… this is business and they try to make the most money they can anywhere at any cost too.. I bet there is a lot more of this going on too.. Hospitals giving their worker’s families special favour too

Ont. minister says she’s outraged at reports that celebrity athletes got H1N1 vaccine  TORONTO – Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews vowed Thursday to investigate whether celebrity athletes jumped the queue for the swine flu shot while other groups are being forced to wait as the province’s supply dwindles.  Minister slams H1N1 shots for Leafs, RaptorsShe said she shares the outrage sparked by reports that professional hockey and basketball players in Toronto got the shot even though the province doesn’t have enough yet to vaccinate school-age children.

Toronto hospital board got H1N1 shots early – Members of the board of directors at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital were given H1N1 shots last Monday, at a time when many people in priority groups had yet to be immunized. Shortage or not they used their position to beat the system. If you’re rich, famous or connected it seems you don’t have to wait.  Everyone else though…be patient.  Anyone but me tired of hearing ” we jumped to the front of the line because we did not know there was going to be a shortage? ” In whose world does that make it right when pregnant woman and small children spend hours standing in line? Not fair! These people should have had the decency to let the high-risk groups go first.  Sounds like the bureaucrats are looking after themselves again. Buffalo Jump said: “In Alberta they fired the person who made special arrangements for the Flames.   What is going to happen in Ontario?”  Nothing. This is Ontario

Alberta in an uproar over Flames’ special treatment Premier says investigation has been ordered into how NHL players and their families scored treatment at special clinic
 The root problem is this double standard applies not just to the flu vaccine but in all of the  health care… 
harper-health-cared now H3
Roman Cooney, a spokesman with Alberta Health Services, said the special clinic approved by “staff” for hockey players and their families “should not have happened … I am apologizing for a serious error in judgment.”  The federal government faced an avalanche of criticism yesterday from opposition MPs angry at the long waits for the H1N1 vaccine in their ridings.”I can’t believe anybody could look at the lineups and say it’s OK,” said Liberal health clinic Dr. Carolyn Bennett, who succeeded in getting the House of Commons to hold a rare evening emergency debate on the pandemic and inoculation campaign.
 ” There is not a shortage of vaccine; every Canadian will be able to have the vaccine by Christmas,” but for those who die before that that is too late..
And we are also reminded that other governments have mismanaged also the ehealth now too.. mis management of an electronic health program.  The   issue has prompted a cabinet resignation in Ontario and is linked to an on-going RCMP investigation in British Columbia.  Ontario auditor general Jim McCarter reported on Oct. 7 that Ontario’s e-health initiative lacked direction, relied too heavily on consultants and there was little to show for a $1 billion investment.
Reality! What real governing skills does it take for anyone merely to spend the taxpayers money? None! But now also making sure it is properly spend and not stolen firstly still requires valid managerial skills.  The civil and public servants remain remarkably unruffled, even as Ottawa and the provinces rack up close to $100-billion in new debt this year also. For the Public and civil servants in Ottawa but also those   in Ontario remember their   raises profoundly but not rather more the poor work they too often do . For most of them, it was the raise they alone also  do  think still they deserve the raise. If you’re a Stephen  Harper fan or Dalton McGuinty government , yes you’ve seen them given more money to public employees at a time of deflation, fear, market panic and widespread carnage in the private sector  Most of Ottawa’s Ontario’s budget winds up in the hands of municipalities, school boards and hospitals and health authorities, which makes it harder to track who’s getting it too and to know now know much of it was rather abused too.. Anyone reading the news lately has heard not just about the too often useless civil and public servants but also about the mafia connections on porkjects that raises the taxpayers costs up to 40 percent now as well even in Quebec. We all already  could be facing much more taxes, severe service cuts as a direct result while  the federal  and provincial governments  do brace  some more for a “long, slow grind” to economic recovery that included already unacceptable government wastes,  high deficits that even will take years to overcome. All, all of this is unacceptable!

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