I sat down and watched Michael Moore's film "Sicko" and it really made me stop and think. I know that he's giving his side of the story and sensationalizing parts for the benefit of the movie. I realize that more than 80% of Americans have health insurance but do the HMOs and medical insurance companies really treat their clients this way? Do they try to find loopholes so they won't have to pay?
I consider myself and my family very luck to be living in Canada where we have universal healthcare. I know we pay more taxes than our American neighbours but I will gladly pay it if helps provide free medical services. As indicated in the film, we as Canadians love to complain about our healthcare system - long waits for services, not enough doctors, etc. - but when all is said and done I wouldn't trade it. It's not something which we give much thought to in our everyday lives but when the need arises you get a whole new appreciation for it.
Recently my eldest son was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma and had to go through many painful and elaborate tests to determine the type of cancer as well as its extent. At no point did we have to wait more than 2 days for tests to be done including cat-scans, MRIs, as well as biopsies. The medical staff has been extremely caring and compassionate to my son. I couldn't imagine the costs involved in treating him including the chemo but it would far exceed anything that my wife and I could afford. At no time has anything regarding his treatment not been done because of the cost. Even the drugs he must take at home are fully covered by our system.
Granted the waits can be much longer for some people who do not have life threatening illnesses but when it comes to the very sick the system works. Our system is far from perfect but I'm glad that Tommy Douglas had the vision and the passion to push the Government of the day to implement our universal healthcare system.
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