Will Tim Houston ever conquer the health-care mountain?
Those brave enough to attempt climbing Mount Everest recognize that the upper half is the most difficult. Most mountains are like that. Although likely to win the provincial election of 2021, based on historical voting trends, the promise to “fix health care” certainly put the PCS over the top. Promises come easy in election campaigns but are often more difficult to deliver once in government. There appears to be a sincere desire to make real improvements in our health-care system. Reality has raised its head regarding expectations. Already the rhetoric has changed from “fixing” to “making significant improvements”. Tim Houston has given himself a real mountain to climb. Despite considerable effort, past governments have failed to “fix” health care. This government is unlikely to realize greater success. Before the top of the mountain can be scaled, the base must be climbed. With very good doctors, nurses, and other support staff, we have already established a solid base in health care. The unstated and most difficult slope remains unchallenged. One enormous obstacle stands in the path of success in climbing the health-care mountain. Before health care can be “fixed”, we will have to recognize the responsibility of the citizenry. It seems taboo for politicians to point out that people bear some responsibility for maintaining their own health. No number of doctor visits or medications will change the health dynamics if there is not a concerted effort by the public to promote good health. It is widely recognized that proper diet and appropriate exercise play a very important role in maintaining personal health. While some health issues are unavoidable, a great many are due to unhealthy habits. Soft drinks, snacks, and fast foods factor far too prominently in our food intake. They are major contributors to obesity, diabetes, and other common health issues. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are also prevalent. Too many hours staring at screens reduces time for outdoor activities and the benefits of fresh air. Outdoor exercise is free, enjoyable, and beneficial. A brisk walk, taken regularly, will show favourable results. Diet and exercise are individual responsibilities. Poor personal habits put unnecessary stress on the health-care system. Until the public accepts its role in the process, Tim Houston, or any politician, will never conquer the health-care mountain. Orland Kennedy, Pleasant Valley