Ask any Canadian about the quality of the healthcare system in the country. You will undoubtedly receive glowing, positive, feedback. Does the system really do that good of a job? Should healthcare, and the officials responsible for it, escape scrutiny? While healthcare offered in Canada is better than some other nations, there is still room for improvement. Thrown into the spotlight during the 2016 presidential primaries by Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, a lot of people began thinking more vocally and critically of the system.
We know that healthcare in Canada is superior to other nations which are still not using a single payer system exclusively. When a Canadian breaks their arm, for example, they don’t have to worry about how they are going to pay the medical bill. This system sounds perfect, until you realize that the flaws run deep.
In the summer of 2017, I had a conversation with a wonderful lady. This lady had late stage Multiple Sclerosis, and she experienced, and continues to experience, the shortcomings of the Canadian healthcare system. No Canadian citizen should have to deal with their own government turning their back on them, especially not in such a time of need.
The dark underbelly of the Canadian healthcare system was thrust into center stage with the response from Minister Philpott’s office. When asked pointed questions about the handling of individuals with chronic pain and debilitating diseases, the Federal government was quick to shift the blame from them to the provinces. “ … While the federal government provides financial support to the provinces and territories for health care services, the responsibility for matters related to the administration and delivery of these services, including drug coverage and home care, falls within provincial and territorial jurisdiction.” This single response highlights the very real problem that our current system has. The rest of the email reply was a cheap pat on the back for the governing party, talking about largely unrelated budget items.
Having a core group of people, elected by a faulty first past the post system, that are disconnected from the realities of the world making the laws and guidelines is bad enough.When that group then pawns of most of the responsibility to 13 separate groups to handle, it gets that much worse. How can Canada be so proud of their system when it varies so widely across the country? When there is no Federal regulations to ensure some level of consistency in such an important product like healthcare, nothing else really matters.