#33 – (In)Complete Coverage

English Canadians love their healthcare system. It’s one of those fortresses of revisionism that Canadians will flee to when their precious façade of a country is threatened by facts. What’s that, rest of the world? Doesn’t matter, got healthcare! The public healthcare system was in 2012 the single thing cakers took the most pride in about their country, and holy shit is that pride misplaced. The problem with Canada’s healthcare system isn’t just that it has disastrous shortcomings which produce some truly horrific consequences, such as the inexcusable fact that 57% of diabetic Canadians can’t follow their diabetes management plan because they can’t afford those costs. It’s that Canada’s healthcare system is a shambolic patchwork of coverages that are littered with exclusions.

One of the most damaging exclusions is Canada’s unique lack of national pharmaceutical coverage. Canada is indeed the only country in the world that has a functional public healthcare system without a corresponding drug coverage plan. Indeed, outside of the United States Canada has the highest drug costs in the world. Here’s a case where a Canadian physician was forced to procure a common medication for treating parasitic worms from fucking Zimbabwe. When a failed state is providing you with medications because your government’s own infrastructure can’t do the job in time you know you’ve fucked up something fierce.

map_of_zimbabwe
(S) Not pictured: a global pharmaceutical powerhouse

There are so many problems with access to pharmaceuticals in Canada that it boggles the mind. Problems with procurement for basic medications to deal with conditions like epilepsy are getting to the point where even hospitals are struggling to keep stock. Between 20,000 and 40,000 people are reliant on an anti-seizure drug called clobazam; missing doses of the drug could kill thousands. Has that motivated Canada to find a stable supply? Nope! And heaven help you if you’re reliant on Canada’s Soviet mental health infrastructure. Not only is Canada’s mental healthcare system absolute shit – it also can’t keep a steady supply of antipsychotics. Here’s a list of over 800 drug shortages currently afflicting this country. We can’t even deal with syphilis, for Christ’s sake! But don’t worry – Pravda, our beloved national broadcaster, leapt to the rescue by courageously blaming social media for outbreaks of STDs in Alberta.

And this isn’t even getting into the absolute horror show that is drug provision on Indigenous reserves. One of the stories that has stuck with me more than most is the tragic tale of the man who dragged an oxygen tank over 600 miles after his wife died for want of oxygen. Oxygen!! Nurses lacking in basic training working in collapsing, unsafe buildings are par for the course on Canada’s reservations. And the problem isn’t just at the frontlines – government bureaucracy, often clunky and unnecessary, are literally killing people. Children on reserves are dying from diseases that are easily treated, like strep throat, because Canada’s healthcare system can’t handle basic problems. You know where else problems like that exist? Fucking Zimbabwe.

We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of healthcare failure in Canada. Because this is such an important point of Canadian revisionism I think it’s imperative for me to hammer each and every aspect of its failure in, complete with as much research as I can muster. The truth of Canada’s flawed, failing system and its myriad exclusions must be known. From excluding pharmaceuticals to denying mental health treatment to claiming that dental, visual, and audiological health aren’t worthy of public funding Canada’s infrastructure is truly shambolic. Anyone claiming a sense of nationalism from this disgraceful, ill-funded abomination is, to be blunt, deep in the throes of insipid caker revisionism.

 

One thought on “#33 – (In)Complete Coverage”

  1. don’t forget executive pay and compensation for health care executives, including the golden parachute for malfeasance. look at alberta.

    Like

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