Whenever I worry for a topic, I have only one direction I need look to find something to write on – north. Canada’s Arctic is an abject clusterfuck of a place where Ottawa’s ineptitude blossoms into a turgid display of abject third-world horror. Abject poverty, critically-failed housing that sees 31% of Inuit living in unacceptably crowded conditions, an inhumane prison, rampant hunger, ridiculous costs of living, and wild revisionism reign. For a blog like this the suffering of the North offers virtually unlimited content to slam Canada with. Indeed, the North is so dizzyingly shit that even keeping a steady aim at the cancerous behemoth that is Ottawa can be difficult – that’s why I opened with a shotgun blast of suck before taking aim at a more specific problem to the North – an incredible lack of healthcare.
Yeah, for a country that prides itself up and down on free healthcare Canada sure does a shit job of it. As of the day of writing Pond Inlet, Nunavut has a whooping cough outbreak that it can’t possibly contain with the resources they have on hand. Before that it was tuberculosis, a problem that has never really been gotten a handle on given that another TB outbreak came in 2014. Staff and facilities are in short supply and consequently some iffy people get promoted for want of anyone else while others are worked to dust. When ranked in terms of quality healthcare it’s no surprise that the Northern territories hang out together at the bottom of the pack.
What’s even more fun about the healthcare problems of the North is that they’re compounded by other shitty problems incumbent to Ottawa doing diddly-dicking nothing while the place burned. Remember that bit about poverty? It drills way deeper. For instance, here’s a piece about the North having shitty dental care. Guess what? That reflects elsewise in your overall health. When your food is nightmarishly expensive and you have to make your money last it makes (short-term) sense to eschew healthful food choices in favor of relatively cheaper junk food. Shockingly a diet of soda and sadness doesn’t lead to better health outcomes.
I adore this video. Fuck you – watch it and have a lark.
You know what else doesn’t lead to good health outcomes? Severe mental illness! And you know what doesn’t help that? Severe linguistic barriers that prevent proper diagnosis and care in hospitals! Or not getting needed medications! There isn’t a single part of the system that appears to be functioning. And while I won’t pretend that the North doesn’t present challenges it is a hardly acceptable for a country that claims public healthcare as a national virtue to offer an endless bevy of suffering instead. As in Nunavut’s life expectancy is 10 years lower than the rest of Canada’s.
Like terrible hospitals? It’s one thing to have a shitty dilapidated mess of a hospital like Halifax’s infamous Victoria General; it’s quite another to have a hospital staffed with four doctors. This is a vicious cycle – as doctors are overworked the need for replacement becomes more urgent and the difficulties in attracting talent grow as the job looks more and more like a baffling mess of confusing kleptocracy and enormous barriers in both professional and personal life.
Like Newfoundland, the North disappears from the caker conception of Canada unless a topical, convenient facsimile of the place can be deployed to make-believe Canada into a liveable place. Nunavut and its myriad problems are simply nowhere on the radar in Canada and because of that things quickly fall to shit. I wanted to showcase some examples of pathetic healthcare indicators in Canada because of how important healthcare is to the caker identity. Except when, y’know, you do a piss-poor job of it and return to ignoring the problem as per usual.