|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
universal health care system.
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.
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?
IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK
FROM OUR POLITICIANS?