Think back to the last time you filled a prescription. Now think back to who paid for that.
Surveys and polls often show Canadians are proud of our universal health system, which provides publicly funded care for doctor and hospital services. Canadians don’t have to worry about filing for bankruptcy to get care for themselves or their families when they need it.
Imagine having your private health insurance — dental, vision, prescription drug, life, travel and disability coverage — suddenly terminated by your employer at age 65 while you’re still working for them, and just when you may really need it.
Last week, the media carried a story about a nine-year-old boy in New Brunswick who was denied private health coverage because of his weight (at 5 foot 2 inches and 135 pounds). His family were shocked – as were many reading the story – that a child could be denied private health coverage in Canada.
Recently federal and provincial health ministers agreed to create a working group to explore how to improve Canadians’ access to pharmaceutical drugs. In the wake of this, there is new optimism that pharmacare, publicly funded and universally available to Canadians, might one day come to pass.
I am privileged to help patients deal with a variety of common disorders such as ear infections, pharyngitis and sinus inflammation. People suffer a great deal from these problems, especially when they are in the acute phase.
The Canadian healthcare system is often held up as an example to model or to avoid at all costs in the debates on healthcare in this country. Yet there are a startling number of misconceptions — on both sides of the partisan divide — about how the Canadian health system actually works.
A recent court challenge before the British Columbia Supreme Court threatened to change the rules of the game for the Canadian healthcare system — should the challenge have made its way to the Supreme Court of Canada and found success there.