I write to you today as one of countless Canadians today without adequate healthcare. I write to you as a Nova Scotian on the eternal “Find a Family Doctor” list – a list which has become a running joke to the people who have been on it for a decade or more. I write to you as a human being; watching fellow humans literally dying in an effort to obtain emergency medical care, watching people dying because they were unable to get the treatment they need, watching people dying because there’s not enough mental health support.
We Canadians used to talk about healthcare as something that we had figured out, and a system that worked; but the reality is far bleaker. If I need to see a doctor, my options today are:
If that doctor prescribes me medication; I’m grateful to be one of the people lucky enough to have extended health benefits, so I don’t have to pay full price for those medications, but what of the many people who aren’t so lucky? Even so, I’m out of pocket over two hundred dollars a month for the medications for my family. Without benefits? That would be closer to a thousand.
If that doctor prescribes me therapy for a mental health condition; my benefits will help to a degree – and to a maximum – but beyond that I’m on my own. With psychologist appointments priced at over $200/hour, it makes me wonder why mental health – which we talk about as being so important – is a luxury for the well-to-do?
Heaven help me if I need to get to the hospital via Ambulance. It would be a better bet to call a taxi to drive me to the hospital, given the wait times for ambulances in this province.
Enough is enough. I, and countless others like me, am tired of hearing about how you’re “making healthcare a priority”. Healthcare hasn’t been a priority for parties in power over the past couple of decades. If it had been, we wouldn’t be where we are. I’m tired of hearing disagreements over the funding for it. The money always seems to be available when a giant corporation needs a bailout, or when there’s a humanitarian crisis in the news overseas.
Real change. Concrete results. Decisive action. Fix our crumbling healthcare system – I’m begging you. Not for my own sake; but for my children, for my parents, for the next person who is waiting to die in the emergency room screaming and begging for care. It’s time to get to work and fix things; not with tweets, sound bites, or quips between party members; but with real, measurable, change. Our children deserve better than what you’re giving them, and they’re watching.