What do we want for our seniors? - The Canadian
Monday, November 23

What do we want for our seniors?

The private sector simply cannot allow us to offer adequate and accessible services to our seniors.

The pandemic has brought out several issues concerning the services offered in CHSLDs; the dissatisfaction of the population is general. Two culminating elements emerge from this: the services offered simply do not meet the needs of our seniors, and the effects of privatization associated with this essential service are remarkably negative.

To understand these issues, it is interesting here to evoke the thought of Jürgen Habermas, a German philosopher of the XXe century. By disserting on the relative autonomy between public sphere and private sphere, Habermas affirms the superiority of the public sphere over the private sphere based on the following thesis: collective freedom is the guarantor of our individual freedom. This is a principle that we have overlooked in these debates. The issues discussed earlier relate to the reality experienced by many families, particularly in recent months. Initially, they each expressed their fears about their loved ones. The accumulation of these testimonies made it possible to start a dialogue with the government in relation to the problems raised. This is what Habermas offers: certain aspects of the private sphere need to be discussed publicly in order to provide concrete solutions that benefit all individuals.

The public workforce cannot support the growing demand for places in CHSLDs. The population pays taxes in exchange for covering certain health costs, but finds themselves paying additional costs to be placed in private institutions. This is why those affected by the lack of access to public services ask for government subsidies in order to reduce their private bill. However, the pandemic has shown us that this is an issue that must be taken seriously and that is why the government must invest in a sustainable public sector, because giving subsidies to residents of the private sector involves transferring money from public funds to private companies. Where is the logic in all of this?

Public residents’ fees are based on their savings and family income to promote equity among the population. As many families find themselves paying fees of up to $ 8,000 per month to place their loved ones in private institutions, terrifying events such as the unsanitary conditions and poor hygiene observed at the Herron Center occur. The government is unable to concretely explain these tragedies to the population. This is the result of the privatization of CHSLDs, in particular initiated by the liberal government, which has led to a loss of control over the network.

The value conflict with the private sector is explained by the main objective of these companies: to make profit. This aspiration definitely has no place when it comes to taking care of the people you love. It is not logical that in a society like Quebec, which advocates accessibility to the health care system, seniors find themselves left to fend for themselves in mediocre living conditions, at exorbitant costs.

Public institutions are not perfect, but they allow us to have a real impact on the services offered through our elected officials. Moreover, the demands concerning our seniors have been heard and are currently being debated in the National Assembly. Concrete actions regarding the services offered in our public CHSLDs must be put in place to resolve the poor conditions linked to the lack of organization observed during the pandemic. That said, the solution to the disruption of value with the private sector is clear: CHSLDs must be nationalized in order to promote accessibility to optimal services for all.


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