Canada has medical coverage for its citizens, which is seemingly a wonderful idea. How much is covered varies from province to province The shame of this Canadian health care system however, is what does not happen for the patients who fall between the cracks. This is because of lack of adequate staffing and available services. It is also because there are many who cannot afford the additional expenses outside of the covered hospitalization. If they are in the hospital, the coverage is often phenomenal.
Some areas of Canada are still struggling for enough medical practitioners to perform the necessary services. Unless a procedure is deemed immediately life threatening, the patient is often put on long waiting lists for necessary surgeries and/or treatments. Some have to wait months or over a year, while suffering the symptoms of whatever particular illness or disease they are living with. It is often something treatable that affects their abilities to function and contribute to their daily lives in a productive manner.
The catch is, that unless you get the treatment/s or medications, you don’t get well or get to a fully functioning level. Without that ability you can’t get the work to pay for the treatments the Canadian health care system does not cover.
If you are lucky enough to have an employer or a medical plan which covers the additional costs, then the system works in your favour. For those who do not have the luxury of this additional coverage and fall into the working class poor category, they are put in a position where they cannot get full treatment. Even for those who do have the ability to pay for additional medications and/or treatments, the additional expenses can be overwhelming. Additionally, dentistry and optometry are often not covered at all.
Here is a case in point. This is an actual case. A man and wife are both working. One works full time for income outside the home, the other works very hard , often at all hours of the day and night for minimal pay managing the apartment complex they live in. . This pay covers most of their rent. He cannot get a job besides this, even though he has tried over and over, primarily because of his medical conditions. They both work long hard hours, and struggle over everything including food. They are hard working responsible people who contribute to society in many ways. The spouse working the complex they live in, suffers from diabetes and heart problems, amongst other things. He also does volunteer work for a local food bank to help other people, even though he and his wife are already working hard to exist. He is able to go to the doctor for free, but here is the hitch. These doctors prescribe a plethora of medicines that they cannot possibly afford on their income. They have no other means to receive these funds. Therefore the husband is unable to get the daily treatment he needs. He sometimes is forced to go into the hospital to receive enough treatment for free in order to keep him going. Then he is given prescriptions upon release that he cannot possibly fill or pay for. It becomes a vicious cycle to survive. These are people who take pride in being productive citizens and yet they cannot receive the most basic daily treatments under the existing Canadian health care system.
The pros of the Canadian health care system are obvious. For people in other countries, these benefits , even with these problems, would be a vast improvement over what they have. The United States has millions of uninsured citizens, which is shameful in a country that has such amazing resources. The shame of the Canadian health care system is that the lower income families, although often hard working, are left to suffer. Hospitalization is a last resource, but under this system, it often gets used as the only resource, which the government then funds, when smaller less expensive treatment such as simple medications would suffice.