Letters: The privilege of health-care access – National Post

Re: Health-Care Bogeyman, editorial, Sept. 7; Perils Of Privatization, letters to the editor, Sept. 8.
Your editorial rightly points out that the rich and well-connected already get preferential access in our publicly funded health-care system. It is the way by which many of them do though that obviates the need for more private medicine.

For as little as $1,000, individuals can avail themselves of the services of an executive health physician. Not only will they be able to spend leisure time with a dedicated gatekeeper shorn of a standard case load, but the unstated pièce de resistance is queue-jumping access to specialized care through clubby arrangements.

In more than 15 years of owning a private health-care centre, I have yet to learn of any executive health patient who has ever had to wait to see a top specialist or failed to get university hospital-based treatment in a timely manner. So the question is: why would anyone but the unwitting choose to pay untold sums for private care procedures performed by rent-seeking providers when, for a comparatively modest one-time payment, they can fast pass their way to the best specialists and be well looked after all on the public dime?
Simon Dermer, Toronto.

No easy solution

Re: Rebel Group Says It Won’t Respect Ceasefire Agreement, Sept. 12.
The proposed U.S./Russian/Syrian peace plan is on life support before it starts. While the Russians have sufficient control over Syrian President Bashar Assad to ensure that government forces adhere to a ceasefire, the widely disparate rebel groups are answerable to no such one authority.

While an armistice is the easiest step to peace, the truly insoluble issue is the creation of a new Syrian state, or states, on which anyone can agree. Syria was cobbled together at birth as a post-First World War French mandate from a diverse collection of mutually distrustful remnants of the collapsed Ottoman Empire, which France failed to divide into separate states representing Druze, Sunni, Shiite, Alawite, Christian and other elements.

The semblance of unity created by the Baath party of Hafez Assad was blown apart by the current rebellion, with the addition of a further Kurdish element seeking its own independence. Each warring segment now seeks a reunited Syria under its own sole control and refuses to recognize the rights of others.
Alexander McKay, Calgary.

Hillary’s health

Re: Clinton’s Health Becomes A Real Campaign Issue, Sept. 12.
The video clearly shows Hillary Clinton being thrown unconscious into the back of a waiting vehicle, after having attended the 9/11 memorial gathering for only half an hour. Her doctor is claiming she has “pneumonia”.

Clinton is finished politically. No more lies can cover up her failing condition. She is in no shape for public life, never mind to take on the responsibilities of being the president of the United States.

Donald  Trump will be a great president. He will also make great mistake. But, he will be the great president that the world needs in these serious and unstable times.
Iain Foulds, Spruce Grove, Alta.

Free not to vote

Re: Mandatory Voting Is The Next Step, Andrew Coyne, Sept. 10.
For the most part, I must respectfully disagree with Andrew Coyne’s stance on mandatory voting. As a concerned citizen, I may spend hours, days and perhaps weeks following televised debates, studying party platforms, attending town-hall meetings and examining candidates’ personal credentials.

Under mandatory voting, uninformed, uncaring mandatory ciitizens might be led by their ears into the voting booth to negate my carefully considered vote by their ham-fisted X on whomever it first falls. While I have no argument if any legitimate voter arrives on their own initiative, voting remains a hard-fought right and privilege not to be squandered on the uncaring. The freedom democracy offers should also extend to those not wishing to cast a ballot.
Yuri Amatnieks, Mississauga, Ont.

Kim’s challenge

Re: ‘A Different Level Of Threat,’ Sept. 10.
South Koreans must shudder at the prospect of Kim Jong-un’s self- proclaimed destiny to re-unite the peninsula, with him as supreme leader. Since murdering his uncle, who had been his father’s respected mentor, Kim has become rudderless. According to the media in Seoul, he is an enthusiastic participant in the execution of prisoners. Reportedly he favours mass executions, with the machine gun as his weapon of choice.

Kim has publicly said that he won’t rest until he nukes Manhattan. China has lost control of the situation and must be as nervous as the Americans. The North Korean leader;s rapid progress in his nuclear weapons program will inevitably lead to conflict. He won’t be deterred by threats or sanctions. A regime change must be seriously considered by both China and the U.S., as unpalatable as that may be.
Allan Nicholson, Victoria.

Not your father’s Star Trek

Re: I Want My Old Star Trek Back, Thomas Vinciguerra, Sept. 9.
Thomas Vinciguerra bemoans that Star Trek has turned into a “special-effects-choked, bottom-line behemoth” whose first principles have moved away from people to gadgets. Unfortunately, the same has happened to other productions, most noticeably the James Bond franchise.

Despite the over-emphasis of technology, Star Trek to its credit deals with human interest stories, to some extent. It’s just not your father’s Star Trek. For example, in Star Trek Beyond viewers get a brief glimpse of Hikaru Sulu sharing a tender embrace of his male partner; the couple then hug their daughter. It will be interesting to see how the show improves in the next 50 years.
David Tulanian, Los Angeles.

Mystery of Camp

Re: Hearings On Removing Judges Rare, Sept. 12.
What surprises me most about the case of Albert Justice Robin Camp is that a man with such an antiquated, sexist, insensitive attitude could become a judge in the first place. Asking a sexual assault victim why she just didn’t keep her knees together to prevent the assault is an insult to all sexual assault victims.

What would he have said to a victim of violent assault? “Well, why weren’t you wearing a helmet or hockey pads?” Or “Why weren’t you carrying a weapon with which to defend yourself against a violent assault?” A person like Camp doesn’t deserve to be a judge with all the perks of that position.
Jerry Steinberg, Surrey, B.C.

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