I am quite surprised by what I have been reading. Then, on Facebook, I saw a post by the Obama campaign. I forget how political it all is. American health care reform, controlled by those who oppose it, and having to be funded by political campaign contributions. I did a screen shot of the FB post. I was so shocked. But it confirmed my suspicions. Today, I read in The Star that my suspicions are confirmed.
In an interesting blog post, intended to cause doubts around our Canadian universal health care system, What's the Good in Having Health Care If You Can't Use It, an American blogger attempts to prove that our Canadian system does not work. As I did a search, I found 11,800 hits, with 18 exact copies of the same stories placed on each site.
(This article, they say, originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Feb., 2009.)
" President Obama and Congressional Democrats are inching the U.S. towardgovernment-run health insurance."
A case cited: "In Ontario, Lindsay McCreith was suffering from headaches and seizures yet faced a four and a half month wait for an MRI scan in January of 2006. Deciding that the wait was untenable, Mr. McCreith did what a lot of Canadians do: He went south, and paid for an MRI scan across the border in Buffalo. The MRI revealed a malignant brain tumor."
There were 20 sites with this exact text. While I feel badly for Mr. McCreith, I wonder how they could use his name and cite his case with our FIPPA and PHIPA legislation intended to protect privacy and health care i nformation? FIPPA is an act cited by many health care workers when choosing not to divulge health care concerns. I have written about this before. The medical profession doesn't get it. Most err on the side of caution!
Someone was apparently refused hip replacement surgery. I searched this text: "On the other side of the country in Alberta, Bill Murray waited in pain for more than a year to see a specialist for his arthritic hip. The specialist recommended a "Birmingham" hip resurfacing surgery (a state-of-the-art procedure that gives better results than basic hip replacement) as the best medical option. But government bureaucrats determined that Mr. Murray, who was 57, was "too old" to enjoy the benefits of this procedure and said no. In the end, he was also denied the opportunity to pay for the procedure himself in Alberta. He's heading to court claiming a violation of Charter rights as well."
I would be keenly interested in finding out if 'Bill Murray' actually exists! There are long lists of people needing hip surgery, and many well above the age of 57 getting it. If this is true, there may be extenuating circumstances. It is hard to say.
The mistake, the American writers are making, is claiming: " You'll wait a very long time for treatment or you may be flat out denied treatment by government bureaucrats."
It is not bureaucrats who control surgeries. We have protocols, and harried health care workers, including physicians, with little time to lobby for care for patients. Yes, our system isn't perfect, but isn't the right to free health care an important one? The treatment of victims, such as Hurricane Katrina, point to the disparities in their system. The horror stories, such as those of elder abuse for chronically ill patients, are horrible.
Our Canadian Health Care system is improving, despite being burdened financially and with the sheer number of aging seniors. With the creation of complimentary treatments, and the addition of accredited health care workers such as Nurse Practitioners and midwives to handle less complex continuing care for 'normal' cases. But the amazing 'cases' cited by these anti-health care reformers is quite shocking. We are all trying to work together to improve, expecially, senior health care: many are trying to seek support for PSW regulation, Senior's Patient Advocates, eHealth Ontario, better monitoring of retirement homes and LTC. But this is ridiculous.