There is a debate going on in Canada about how the government prioritizes which Canadians get to have their medicine, medical treatments and operations covered by a government plan. People are taking issue with the fact that while the government keeps saying that they cannot find money to give medications to those who caught Hepatitis C while being at a government hospital, the government was able to find money to help drug addicts with lifesaving injections free of charge.
Some Canadians would argue that drug addicts for the most part have made the personal choice to take illegal drugs and should not be helped, if it means that others in need are left behind. Others would say that we must help drug addicts no matter the cost, because drug addiction is not a choice and they are Canadians too. I question why there is not money to help them both. I do not think that the cost of hosting the Olympics, erecting statues, or holding nation wide 150th birthday parties to commemorate the confederation of Canada is worth one Canadian’s suffering, or life.
From teenager to adult everyone in Canada has heard about the opioid crisis. Drug addicts know that their drug of choice could be laced with a deadly substance like Fentanyl. Some, would argue that it is the drug addict’s awareness of the danger, that makes the spending of millions of tax payer dollars to save drug addicts from themselves, a bad deal for the rest of Canadians, who through no fault of their own:
- are suffering and dying from diseases not of their choosing, who cannot get from any level of government;
- who must foot the bill for these drug addicts help, an unfair way to priorities who gets help and who does not;
I believe that the only criteria used to determine who gets help and in what time frame with lifesaving medical treatments, medicines and operations, is how much media attention a medical issue gets. For the politician, media attention translates into votes and getting votes is all politicians care about.
Jurisdiction: One must take into consideration under whose jurisdiction healthcare falls. In Canada unfortunately healthcare is clearly within the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories. Canada’s provincial governments are quick to claim jurisdiction over healthcare and even quicker to blame their mishandling of healthcare on the federal government. Every time the federal government tries to get accountability for Canadians on how the provinces are spending health care dollars, the provincial government demands more money and tells them to keep their nose out of what is clearly their jurisdiction.
All province and territorial governments are responsible for the things that are covered or not covered by Medicare, in their respective provinces. This includes which prescription drugs are covered by them. The only help, or input they will accept from the federal government is money. It is your premiere and his government that are responsible for the long waits in emergency rooms, people dying while waiting for operations, and people not being able to afford to buy their prescription drugs.
It is the jurisdictional issue that also prevents Canadians from benefiting from buying drugs in a way that brings the cost of drugs down and a lot more affordable.
Canadians die waiting for operations or medical treatments that could save their lives, because the provincial government funnels money earmarked for healthcare to other things. It is these things that are making universal Medicare and PharmaCare unsustainable; not the drug addict, Canadians with Hepatitis C , or even Canadians living too long. That Canada has the only universal health system in the developed world that doesn’t have universal coverage of medicines, is also the fault of the provincial government.
Provincial government needs to stop using its jurisdiction over things like health and education as a way to raise funds to funnel into other things it wishes to support. Taking money for healthcare and erecting French only signs in Quebec hospitals, may get the government political points, but does nothing to improve the medical care of Quebecers.
The ‘opioid crisis’ is just another example of the federal government ignoring serious problems, until it is too late. Drug addicts have been dying from bad drugs being sold to them by greedy unscrupulous, illegal drug dealers for years. There is nothing new about it. This ‘opioid crisis’ represents a failure of the federal government to crack down and put an end to the illegal drug business in this country. I have not heard of one major drug dealer arrested, charged, successfully prosecuted and jailed since this, ‘opioid crisis’ was declared. Most politicians seem to be trying to use this tragedy as political talking point, which is a tragedy.
There are those who say that the answer to the opioid crisis would be to give drug addicts who do not want to quit safe access to their drug of choice and a safe place to do the drug. They claim that the government’s choice to take over just the illegal marijuana business, when it claims Canada is in the middle of an opioid crisis, makes no sense. No one was dying in alleyways, or in their suburban bedrooms from illegally smoking marijuana, and yet the government chose to protect children from its use over other things. Taking over all the illegal drug business, from producing to selling would ensure that when a drug addict buys their drug of choice, they can be certain that what they are taking will be free of any additives that will cause them to lethally overdose.
I have had to wait over a year to get an MRI and have had to watch loved ones get sick, suffer and die waiting for treatments, operations, and medications due to a lack of government funding. The spending of millions of dollars to provide on the scene personnel and medication for drug addicts, shown on television, leaving the hospital and saying that they are going to take the same drug bothers me, but in reality I know that my waiting and suffering is not their fault. We are both victims of what happens when you need the 10 provinces and 3 territories to agree on something important to all Canadians, that requires them to work with the federal government.
I understand the parents of drug addicts fighting for the lives of their loved ones, but feel that they must also understand how those who watch their loved ones suffer and die due to causes that are no fault of their own, feel. It is not the fault of a child born with a life-threatening disease, or a person who contracted Hepatitis C while in the hospital. They wonder why they are being made to suffer, because a supposed lack of money?
Canadians need to get out and make some noise. Let their voices be heard in Ottawa, every provincial legislature and every city hall. Remember this politicking at election time and vote out those who would let you suffer and die.
As Canada spends billions of dollars celebrating Canada’s confederation I wonder how many lives could have been saved with just a fraction of that money. If there is no money to sustain Medicare, why is their money for Canada wide celebrations?
Whether provincial, territorial, or federal, politicians need to be held to account. Canadians need to start saying no to elaborate parties that cost billions of dollars, when our Medicare system is unsustainable and we do not have universal PharmaCare.
Canadians need to remember that when a politician says there is no money to fund something, what they are really saying is that there is no political value in helping you. The “Opioid Crisis”, has been picked up by the news and every politician wants to look as if they are trying to do something to end it. The government will try to pit the needs of one group of Canadians against another, because that is how they do things.
There will always be a debate about priorities when it comes to who should be saved first the drug addict, or the person dying from a disease not of their own choice, until the government makes saving all Canadians in need of medical attention its number one priority. There is no such thing as people who cannot be saved and no such thing as wasted money when it comes to the life of a loved one.