Canadian Healthcare

by Victoria Brewster, MSW

One only has to follow the Canadian news, read the local paper or talk to health professionals who will say Socialized Medicine or Medicare needs an overhaul.

While there are many benefits to socialized medicine, basics covered; check-ups, exams, tests or treatment are covered for all who are eligible for Medicare here in Canada, there are also drawbacks, like waitlists.

As I live in the Montreal area, the focus has been on cancer treatment particularly for breast cancer. Once a diagnosis is given, it could be weeks or months until treatment begins.

Imagine you are the one to receive the diagnosis. Would you wait weeks or months? I doubt it.

Many are turning to private clinics, private hospitals or turning to the U.S.A. for quick treatment. Many are willing to pay the money involved to do so.

How about medications? Some are covered and some are not. Imagine being a senior or older adult taking 4, 6 or 10 medications daily. The provincial government  pays part or all depending on your income bracket and you as the patient are left with the balance. Medications can be very expensive and if you are living on a fixed income the choice might be medication, food or rent.

More needs to happen, more changes are needed and it should be equal across the provinces and territories.


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    1. Thank you so much for your comments. I have a MSW degree, so my educational background has instilled in me empathy and compassion along with advocacy and healthcare is becoming a huge issue and I hear about it everyday from clients, friends, colleagues and family!
      We are very lucky in many ways here in Canada to have socialized medicine, but like anything else there are positives, as well as negatives to the system.
      More GP’s are needed, more access to specialists where the wait is within reason, affordable medications, clinics open in the evenings and on weekends and holidays which will reduce the mass amount of people who go to the ER.
      To me the suggestions above are a good place to start…..

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