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Hands Off Our Health Care!

Posted by Rachel R. Vanderveen on Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 at 11:44am.

After having another trip this weekend to one Calgary's emergency rooms, holding my son who had croup, I began to think once again about Canada's health care system and why, as Canadians, we keep accepting such a low standard of care. Over the years, my opinion about our health care has swung from one extreme to another, but last spring our daughter spent more than a month at the Alberta Children's Hospital. It was there that I decided that there is one absolute in the debate about health care in Canada: no mother should ever have to make the decision between health care for her child and money in her bank account.

Our daughter's life was saved by a CAT scan which she had immediately and without question at the Alberta Children's Hospital. I only know that this is an expensive test because of what I have seen on American television, other than that, there was never any mention made about cost while we were at the Children's. If our daughter needed it, she got it. Period. That kind of comfort to a mother is indescribable. No mother (or anyone really) should ever have to be asked if they can afford life-saving treatment.

However, prior to our daughter being admitted, we visited no less than five different health care providers who did not test her appropriately because of lack of time, money, and staffing. It was because of these failures on the part of these first line physicians that our daughter's condition got so dire that she came within inches of death. Had there been time for each of these doctors to properly diagnose and treat her, I'm convinced that we would not have spent more than a month at our daughter's bedside praying for her to get well.

Canadian HealthcareWe sat in emergency rooms quite a few times when we were trying to get our daughter diagnosed. We spent hours and hours in those waiting rooms dealing with nurses who were over-worked and under-paid, and saw us as little more than paranoid and annoying parents, because what our daughter had what appeared to be a viral flu run amok. In reality, it was a burst appendix. We were sent home five times, holding a daughter who—unbeknownst to us—was in critical condition.

Had she been diagnosed in the beginning, she could have been treated quickly, and it would have saved taxpayers the cost of three surgeries, a one-month hospital stay, endless supplies, and highly-specialized physician care. On the one hand, we can't help but be grateful that we received all of that and more for free, but we're not considering that if the system had worked in the first place, we would not have needed it.

Receiving all the care we need for free is the argument Canadians tend to hold close to when they defend our health care system, but they seldom consider that if we had a better system, we wouldn't need all that care. It's in this very sentence where I know many Canadians start to shift in their seat, and ask, "So what are you trying to say here? Are you saying we should have a private system, like they have in the States?" Right there is the problem. The main problem that we have with Canada's health care system is not with the government, the taxation system, or even the politicians. We have a problem in our health care system because of Canadians themselves.

Somewhere, from one election to the next, we have been brainwashed by all the health care-related vitriolic political nonsense, which causes us to shake with anger and shout, "Hands off our health care!" any time any elected official brings up new ideas to fix our broken system.In fact, we've been so filled with fear by politicians, extreme blogs, and horror stories by the hard left in America that we won't even listen anymore. We walk around with our hands over our ears, and refuse to listen to reason where our health care is concerned.

Politicians with something to gain have painted pictures of old ladies being pushed in a wheel chair off a cliff, and pregnant women being left to give birth on the streets and we have believed their embellishments. We have believed that there are only two options for nationwide health care: a system like ours, or a system like the States'. But that simply doesn't make any sense. Just about every question in life offers more than two outcomes, doesn't it?

In reading news articles over the weekend, and in taking my son in to the all-too-familiar ER, I had to write this post as a call to all Canadians to open your ears and your minds! Pry those fingers off your ear canals, and use the brain you were born with to actually consider other options when politicians bring them up. Don't knock them down, and threaten their political career the moment they utter the words, "health care." Consider that there could be a better way to deliver the care we need in a better way, and maybe, just maybe, we may have to listen to words we don't like because they scare us. Maybe we just need experts to explain to us what those two little words really mean because we've been too accustomed to letting politicians define them for us.

We can't continue to be grateful to a broken system because it has the power to heal the massive problems that, in many cases, it has caused. The next time you visit your ER and wait for 6 hours to be seen, ask yourself if there is a better way. I think there is. I don't know what it is, but I do know that if I were given the opportunity to consider my options, I may have a better understanding of something that may work better.


Rachel Vanderveen

The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736
Email: Info@VanderveenTeam.com

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