Scarlem Scarlem nyah nyah nyah
I missed Tuesday’s meeting of the Scarborough Community Council, which means I also missed the tongue lashing they gave Toronto Life over this. Thankfully, the Star was there to cover it for me, though they neglected to mention that the article’s author, Don Gillmor, was in attendance to take his licks. Anyway, Norm Kelly can give me a shin-kicking ‘til my legs turn blue, for all the good it’ll do for his home town. The media is hardly his borough’s biggest problem.
Consider an issue I alluded to in a previous post: it turns out that Scarborough’s hospitals have some of the most horrendous death rates in the GTA. The easiest conclusion to draw from the numbers is that Scarborough’s hospitals are doing a poor job of sending their patients home alive. The fact that much of Scarborough’s population faces a lot of public-health challenges (obesity and diabetes, for example) doesn’t excuse the figures. In fact, it makes them worse, because it suggests that a disadvantaged population is essentially being left for dead, or is beyond saving—which is pretty galling.
And just so I’m not accused of singling out Scarborough, let me add that the hospital that fared worst in the death-rate survey was Humber River Regional, the hospital at Jane and Finch. Add it all together and here’s what you get: the city’s two most disadvantaged, health-challenged neighbourhoods are served by what appear to be the city’s two worst hospitals. It’s a different form of two-tier health care: publicly funded, crappy institutions for the poor. (Paging Dr. Florida and all other readers who think I’m too negative: please show me the silver lining here.) You’d think local politicians would want to get to the bottom of the whole matter, yet I have not heard a single city councillor publicly raise this issue with the provincial government. I guess they’re too busy working the media to get some better coverage.
The Scarborough curse: Source [Toronto Life] Scarborough tackles its image: Source [Toronto Star] How Toronto hospitals compare: Source [Toronto Star]