Being a Canadian in Ontario, I admittedly have complained about hospital wait times and sometimes not experiencing the best service at the hospitals too. While waiting hours to get treatment and dealing with nurses who seem to be fed up with their jobs can be frustrating, I never take what we have for granted.
I also understand why nurses are frustrated. They are overworked, understaffed and often times under-appreciated. Does it excuse poor behavior? No, but there’s always a reason. I, myself, work in health care and while I provide the utmost best care that I can, I am still a slave to the clock.
In the US, it is much more difficult to get the medication or treatment you need. This is especially true if you don’t have affordable health insurance, some citizens turn to companies like Health Net to help them take charge of their health. Now, with the Affordable Care Act put into place, prescription medication may be more readily available to US citizens.
The Affordable Care Act puts consumers back in charge of their health care. According to the law, “a new ‘Patient’s Bill of Rights’ gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their health. This will help children with pre-existing conditions, keep young adults covered and generally provides the patient with more rights than they were given in the past.”
I don’t know if Canadians know how great we have it or if they’ve simply forgotten. While there are many shortcomings and politics within our health care system, our government and tax dollars are able to provide health care for every citizen. If you compare both systems, you’ll find that both submit the patient for wait times. While in the Canadian system, the patient is assessed by services available and the necessity of the patient. In the US, the wait time is based on the patient’s access to funding to pay for treatment and by the availability of services in the area and by willingness of the provider to deliver service at the price set by the insurer.
I am grateful because when my kids need prescription medicine, it is readily available and most time covered through OHIP. My dad, who suffers from heart disease is able to get treatment, tests and procedures to ensure that his health remains stable. When I needed treatment for my pulmonary embolisms or INR monitoring, it was covered through OHIP. Not to mention, eye exams, check-ups and most vaccinations are covered.
One thing is for sure, health care opinions are relative and based on the individual. Some people are completely satisfied with it, while others think their region is lacking. Personally, I am happy with it and am grateful to be able to get medical attention when I need it.
If you are a US or Canadian citizen, how do you think your healthcare system fares?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist and editor of lifestyle blog Whispered Inspirations. A social media junkie, a travel-lover with insatiable wanderlust and an aficionado for fun gadgets, good eats, and entertainment. You can find her on Instagram and everywhere else under @WhispersInspire.