Enough is enough! Things have gotten out of hand; change is necessary. if it takes armed rebellion, then so be it. I refer, of course, to the deplorable state of health care in Canada.
The malaise is societal; private & government agencies both contribute. I’ll start with an example of their complicity.
A few months ago, my wife was prescribed a pharmaceutical that was not yet on the Alberta Health Care approved list. The first time we got the prescription filled, our credit card pleaded for mercy. A rough calculation of the yearly cost of this stuff looked like it might bump us into a lower tax bracket. Affording it would require some serious lifestyle adjustments. Tough times were on our doorstep.
Our self-pity scenario was rudely interrupted when my wife’s physician asked how the drug was working. After ascertaining that the results were what she had hoped for, and therefore, that the medication would be ongoing, she asked us a few seemingly unrelated questions. A week or so later, we were informed that a private agency of some sort was providing us with three month’s supply of the drug free of charge. Our physician had made application! We’re now informed that this will probably continue until Alberta Health Care completes it’s approval.
There you are. A perfectly good pity party ruined by bleeding-heart meddlers. That would never happen south of the 49th, no sir. Doctors down there don’t concern themselves with the financial well being of their patients and neither does anyone else.
Well, I guess that I should back off a little and admit that it looked like things were moving in the direction of caring during the previous eight years. But, they came to their senses and got somebody in there who’s going to restore the natural dog-eat-dog order of things.
No, the Donald isn’t going to have anything to do with the way Canada operates. Good thing too—just look at what happened to me. Back in the early 90s, my late wife was diagnosed with cancer. Had we been still living in the States, we could have looked forward to financial hardship. Why, I have relatives back there who pay more for their health insurance than their house and vehicle payments combined. Unfortunately, we were denied that deprivation. The entire cost for my wife’s diagnosis and treatment was snatched away. We didn’t even get to enjoy a little inconvenience. Good on ya, U. S. of A. — you don’t want any of this Canadian stuff sneakin’ down there.
Now, the real zinger came in the waining months of the last century. The cancer came back. Had we still been in Colorado, this would have been a certain recipe for financial ruin. You see, claims for the treatment of the earlier bout with cancer would have made us ineligible for continued health insurance. Regardless of how much we had paid in premiums or for how long, the insurance providers would have written us off. Since “second line” cancer treatment is considerably more expensive than the initial kind, my destination as a street person would have been assured. In addition, the anxiety would have been ramped up by interminable delays for tests and diagnosis. It was the perfect opportunity for a sorry-for-self party of the first magnitude.
Unfortunately, the opportunity was rudely snatched from me before I managed the first pout. It was mid-November of 1999 when we got the first indication of reoccurrence. A whirlwind of tests followed right through the holiday season. By February of 2001, we had been relocated to a city with the required facilities and my wife was receiving treatment.
Before I continue, I should mention that the madness of expecting insurance companies to treat their clients like people did make an incursion into the land to the south during the previous eight years. Obamacare was a move toward preventing insurance companies from cancelling client’s policies. Ridiculous. How could anyone expect investment in a company that looked after it’s customers instead of piling up the profits? Fortunately, Pres. T is putting a stop to that nonsense. It’s time to load up on insurance company stock.
But, back to my earlier point. The fact that I didn’t have to lay out a dime for my wife’s second bout with cancer wasn’t the final indignity. Relocation to a venue where the necessary facilities were available meant that I had to resign from my job. Since I am getting a bit long in the tooth, that was tantamount to being forced into retirement. At least, I had that left to complain about. Not so fast—the gollum of caring for one another was lurking around that corner also. We hadn’t been our new digs for a week when my former employer called to inform me that the company insurance was going to continue my wages under the “stress leave” provision. The guy was still looking out for me! Again, you can bet that wouldn’t have happened in yankee-land. Down there, you get remembered like the mark you leave in the water when you get out of the pool. But it didn’t end there. A few weeks further along, one of the oil companies that I’d done work for through that employer called to ask if I’d continue doing the work I had been doing for them from my new location. The situation turned out to be ideal: I worked whenever my wife didn’t need me and when she did, nobody bugged me about schedules. A business man and an oil company stretching themselves to look out for Mr. Nobody? Incredible. Never happen in Trumpitty-Dump land.
Last in this litany of the failures in our health care system is the wait time issue. Last time I went for lab work, I dutifully took a number, sat down in the waiting room, and opened my laptop. Before the thing booted up, they were calling my number. How’s a person supposed to get anything done under conditions like that? It wasn’t just that time either. I’ve been getting blood work done twice a year for the past fifteen years and I’ve never been able to finish the article I was reading before being called. Also, it’s not just me. The other day, I pulled into the hospital parking lot and the wife got out to get some lab work done. The bright sun coming through the windshield drenched the dog and I with warmth. Aahh, time to enjoy the first sunbeam of the year. Dog, as is his wont in situations like this, climbed on my lap and put his front paws on my chest. I pressed the recline button on my seat and we settled back. Before we got our eyes well closed, my wife was opening the door with a cheery “All done, boys; let’s go”–bah.