Look for health care answers beyond the continent

To the Editor,

I was very impressed this morning reading Darren Lum’s editorial “What’s old is new again.” I think it was very well written and captures the public mood in our community.
For weeks I’ve been saying that we should be watching what’s happening in South Africa because they are upstream from Canada, so what’s happening there (vis-a-vis Omicron) is a good indicator of what might happen here in a few weeks.
I also think that, as a province and country, we need to seriously evaluate how well our healthcare system has dealt with the unprecedented challenge of COVID. I don’t mean an accusatory process where we point fingers, but rather, an honest and open-minded assessment of how we could improve our system’s performance.
In this vein, I’d like to offer a specific suggestion: we  need to look beyond Canada and the United States for comparisons and new thinking. All too often our debates about healthcare quickly descend into alarmist rhetoric about whether we’re headed towards an “American style” model or not.
If you look at healthcare systems in G20 countries, it’s clear the U.S.A. is an anomaly. As such, I think we should stop talking about it and find other yardsticks to measure ourselves. To take this notion even a step further, I think we should also look beyond the G20. I’ll bet there are lots of good ideas in Chile and Thailand and South Africa and Portugal too.
Meanwhile, kudos to all those currently working hard to keep us healthy. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be many days. Anyway, the rest of us really appreciate it, and maybe we should say that more often. Thanks.

Barry Devolin
Haliburton, Ontario

Devolin is the former MP for Haliburton-Kawartha- Lakes-Brock. He left politics in 2015 after serving in Parliament for 11 years.