Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Stealth staffing

Caduceus By Rama (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Caduceus (Graphic by Rama, own work, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

I heard Kathy Bell, director of primary health care, chronic disease and family practice with the Nova Scotia Health Authority, tell the CBC’s Yvonne LeBlanc-Smith on Thursday that while she was happy to announce Cape Breton would be receiving seven nurse practitioners, she was not at liberty to say where they would be practitioning.

Leblanc-Smith and I had the same reaction, “Say wha?” although Leblanc-Smith expressed it more politely, asking why the need for confidentiality. Bell said it was out of respect for the clinics the nurse practitioners would be joining — with so many doctorless patients out there, announcing the identities of the clinics could lead to a barrage of requests.

To which I say, “Bring on the barrage!” How else are the doctorless to make their needs known to the province if not by applying by the hundreds for the spaces the addition of these nurse practitioners will open up? Spaces in clinics like Island Family Health Care, which actually was identified in the Cape Breton Post article on the subject, making Bell’s insistence on confidentiality for the other clinics all the more absurd.

Bell’s advice to those without doctors was to register with the province, so it will know who the doctorless are and where they’re located. That way, presumably, during the next election cycle, when seven more nurse practitioners are hired for Cape Breton, they can be sent to the right places.

I don’t know which aspect of this story bugs me more — the idea that healthcare funding is something to be tossed around like a perk during a provincial election or the idea that the bare facts about such an announcement can be withheld from the public.



 Dulce et Decorum Est

I can’t believe I’m the one bringing up the war again, but it’s only because I have to mention this touching, First World War tableau I pass most days as I’m going about my business in Sydney. I always spare a thought for this brave, one-eyed veteran, brought back from some bloody European battlefield to recuperate in the window of a downtown Sydney spa:

Spectator photo



I saw an article in the Cape Breton Post about the upcoming reunion of Godsent, a gospel choir from the Northside. I missed Godsent in its ’90s heyday (I was in Europe, listening to the devil’s music) but presumably if you’re going to name yourself “Godsent” you must be good.

By nicu bucule ( [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

(Graphic by nicu bucule, open clipart, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

I mention the article not because of the concert but because of the guest list:

Also performing during Sunday’s concert will be Cape Breton Chordsmen, Colin Grant and Cecil Clarke.

That would be Mayor Cecil Clarke, who has been off work recovering from knee surgery and unable to comment on things like the abrupt departure of CAO Michael Merritt or the CBC’s investigation of the CBRM’s “Wild West” mayoral campaign donations.

Perhaps he intends to address these matters in song — numbers like, “Michael, Row Your Boat Back to Alberta” and “Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man Who Donated $1,000 to Your Political Campaign.”

I’d actually pay to see that.








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