I am beginning to understand the issues surrounding Canada’s health care program, now that my health is starting to show signs of wear and tear brought on by the aging process. There are so many little things that are not covered and the cost of those things are not cheap and add up quickly. It is hard enough to find out that you are facing a fight with prostate cancer, but to add to that the stress of knowing that certain therapies are not included on the list of things covered like the $90.00 therapy to assist you in being able to recover from the loss of the upper sphincter and the incontinence every man gets due to this. It is not only a suggested therapy it is a therapy which the surgeon insists that you take before they operate.
The Viagra that you may need to help restore your ability to gain an erection after the prostate surgery is not covered by medicare either. This in my judgement already says that if you are rich and can afford private medication and health insurance that you are entitled to certain things that are considered not necessary if you are poor. (Being able to hold your urine properly for one and have a normal sex life the other). Who makes the decisions on these things on what the poor can have and what they can not. What they can do without and what they must have? Who decides what is a reasonable quality of life for the poor person.
The other problem with this sort of we will cover some things in the treatment of a disease is that people are not able to afford to do them for themselves. Now on the surface $90.00 does not seem like a lot of money to most people, but to a senior, or a person on welfare, or another type of fixed income the $90.00 is a lot of money and since you can not get the operation without it, men are opting to wait and just observe the cancer instead of treating it. This is just one form of cancer, how many other procedures are not covered in cancer alone and how many other treatments are considered not necessary by our Canadian government? How many people are opting out of needed life saving surgeries, because they simply can not afford the medications and therapies need before, or after operations such as prostate cancer? What would happen to them if our national health care plan was dropped, or further cut and the list of things not covered was to grow?
There is no fun in going to the dentist and finding out for example that your teeth are diseased, but can be saved but the procedure is not covered by welfare, or medicare and that your only alternative is to have your teeth taken out, pay for the treatment yourself, or only get the part of the operation, or procedure that is covered by our national health care plan. Root canals are not covered and neither is the protective cap, so without exception everyone needing either will pay no less than $400.00. This procedure is the recommended, the most common and the most used way to save a tooth, . The cost of this procedure per tooth can run as high as $1500.00 per tooth. The cheaper version of this operation which is without the cap cost $400.00, but comes with risk breaking off due to tooth break down and an ugly discoloration brought on by the killing of the nerve of the tooth. What you are really getting for $400.00 is just a prolonging of the eventual tooth removal. At any rate most people without money or private insurance are forced to have the tooth removed as they can not afford the $400.00 treatment. Is this not already a 2 tier medical system? Is it more important that a rich man have all of his teeth than a poor man? What would happen if tomorrow there were more dental procedures cut from the list that our government will cover through medicare?
For years the Canadian government has allowed Canadians to feel they would never see the day when they would need health care coverage, because we as people realised that surgery life threatening, or not, mental health, dental health, therapies and medications should be provided to all Canadians eaually and not be dependent on how much money a Canadian citizen had. We decided also that waiting times for surgeries should not depend on financial ability either and all citizens rich or poor would bee treated equally when it came to matters of health. We also decided that we as a nation could not trust private insurance companies who’s sole reason for being was to turn a profit to honor their obligations and pay the hospital bills and cost of the treatments before and after our operation. This is no longer true of the government, because the federal government has caused a situation where the average Canadian does not have health insurance adequate to cover medications, operations,or therapies and does not care. In the past every government said it was our right as Canadian citizens to have our government provide health care freely to every citizen, Prime Minister Harper‘s plan to force the demise of the Medicare will not only make the average Canadian suffer, but will be a death sentence to the poor and the most fragile of Canadians.
I do understand the cost and the strain on the economy, but I do not understand what good balancing the budget does if it means that our quality of life across the board is diminished, or if it means that we have to sacrifice just one Canadian citizen to do it. I understand the need to have an armed forces with up to date working weapons and their budget, but should this trump health care as a priority. I liked the thinking when our government used to put its people first and I mean all of its people. The reason for medicare and why it was taken on by the government of Canada has not changed, or the need for it gone. The fact is that it is needed more and more every day by more and more Canadians, says it is not time to cut it, or diminish it in any way. Most average Canadians would not know where to find a coverage that covered everything they would need if they took ill and probably could not afford to pay for it if they could find it.
This seems to be yet another attempt by this government to bring us onside with an old USA demand that we reduce our quality of life so that we do not strain the USA’s economy when their citizens point at Canada and say how can they do it and why can’t we have it too? We have heard from countless senators and congressman who say that the USA’s system does not work, but yet our Prime Minister Harper wishes to adopt it. Will the poor be forced to show proof of insurance before entering a hospital, or simply get shipped to a lesser hospital at a risk of dying? Will a hospital stay cause families to get into insurmountable debt and possible financial ruin, like we see in the USA? Again I ask why is the price of a jet to kill people a higher priority and more acceptable investment then the saving of Canadian lives with affordable medical protection?
When the people’s needs of a country are ignored, or deemed not important by the actions of their government, people suffer and die. When we say that only those who can afford it deserve the best medical treatment and medical attention people suffer and die. If the goal of this budget balancing is to provide a better life for all Canadian citizens then it can not begin by killing off the less fortunate of the country with slashes and the out right cutting of medical services and medications. This is murder as efficient and as cruel as a gas chamber, a firing squad, using toxic chemicals, or the bombing of ones own citizens.
I contend that what the Harper government is proposing to do to our health system is dangerous and obscene by its very implications. This government should be expanding what is being covered by our health care plan, because what has been covered up to now just is not adequate. Why with all of its wisdom has no one figured out a way to make medicare self-sustaining? It is not enough for the government to cap what it gives the provinces and then say it is not our problem, we have done our part. All Canadians are the responsibility of this government, or has that changed too according to the Harper government?
I would question why it is that we need this confederation and why we give the federal government our tax dollars if our health and welfare are not their problem, our education is not their problem and our infrastructure is not their problem and they are only the jurisdiction and the problem of the provinces. It would seem that we as Canadian citizens are paying a whole lot of politicians in Ottawa to tell us that nothing that really matters to us in our everyday lives is their concern, or their responsibility because it is the jurisdiction and problem of our own province. Surely we could as provinces fire them all in Ottawa and work out our own deals for trade and defence with just the one level of taxation and without all of the red tape of a federal system that seems to be powerless and a figure-head at best? I was never a separatist, but lately I am beginning to wonder if there are any benefits and heart left to this confederation?
My argument only covers two things in the millions of things that are not covered. Obviously some things more life threatening than others, but that does not make them any less stressful, or needed. What I seek is honesty and clarity and the understanding that someone out there in politician land understands that their decisions cause Canadian’s to literally choose to live, or die based on their financial capability and often this means unnecessary suffering, and quite often death. I keep hearing about how great Canada is doing economically in comparison to the rest of the world and how much we must continue to cut needed services to maintain it and it reminds me of the guy who puts all of his pay in the bank and only pays his bills. He does not buy good food, does not have a social life, but when he reads his bank statement thinks that he is rich. When it is too late he realizes that he is alone, his health is poor and that his life has passed him by. Now he has only his money, but it is of little comfort to him in his old age alone and dying and so he realizes too late that he can not take all the cash that he has acquired with him and he weeps for the riches that he has passed up along the way and the rich life he could have had.
- Health Care Is The Problem Of The Provinces Says Harper / What Was Promised Under Duress During An Election Does Not Count (archemdis.wordpress.com)
- Premiers, territorial leaders agree to medicare study (canada.com)
- Harper Succeeds There Are Now Officially Two Kinds Of Canadians / Which Kind Are You? (archemdis.wordpress.com)
- Dr. Harper’s Health Care Prescription (songofthewatermelon.wordpress.com)
- Stephen Harper’s hands-off stance could signal end to national health-care system: Romanow (news.nationalpost.com)
- It Costs More, but Is It Worth More? (opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Health reform: Harper tells provinces to make do with less (canada.com)