Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sicko Shmicko

Cover of "Sicko (Special Edition)"
Cover of Sicko (Special Edition)

My father's last year of life was difficult.

At one point I took him to Emerg and was told the wait

would be 4 or 5 hours.  He couldn't sit in the chairs and

they told me if I took him home and came back in 4 fours

he would lose his place in line.

I took him home because there was no other choice and

later he went back by ambulance.

This week a friend told me that she had just taken her 77

year old mom to the hospital where she was admitted after

sitting in the waiting room for 6 hours.

However there were no beds available so she was going to

have to spend the night sitting in a chair in Emerg.

I was so irate I made a comment on face book.

One of the replies I got was from a distant cousin named

Mike who lives in Texas.

I know that many American politicians who want to change

their health care system hold up the Canadian system as the

be all and end all. 

But the American people are suspicious.

And reading my comment Mike saw the dark underbelly of our

Any Canadian, from the richest to the poorest, can get the finest

health care in the world. 

Ten years ago I had major eye surgery 3 times, twice in Toronto

and once in Hamilton.

The cost to me? Nothing.

The wait? Months.

If you saw Michael Moore's movie Sicko, you may have wondered

where he found that Canadian hospital with nobody waiting,

nobody in crisis.

You may also have been horrified to the point of wanting to shut the

borders at the stories of financial ruin inflicted on middle class

American families by their health care system.

Probably the truth lies somewhere in between.

Canadians are not likely to give up universal health care, the

importance of the welfare of the group over the importance of the

individual is just too ingrained.

And Americans value the individual over the group. 

That isn't likely to change either.

But right now, we both have shitty health care systems.

Is there not some common ground?

Can we not look at the best of both systems,
borrow a bit here and there?





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