I recently received an email about the movie you are making (Sick and Sicker) and wanted to write in with my true Canadian health care story. I am an otherwise healthy 29-year-old woman and was recently found to have Type 1 diabetes. It was a real shock and I was scared for my health and of course, for the quality of my life in the future. Within weeks of my diagnosis I was seen by an endocrinologist. When I mentioned to her that my husband and I were interested in starting a family I was moved to the Diabetes in Pregnancy clinic here in Calgary. I had an appointment within a week and was given my own nutritionist to help teach me about food choices, carbohydrate counting and prenatal nutrition. I had a diabetes education nurse who helped to get me on insulin and supplied me, free of charge, with my insulin pens. She calls me every week to go over my blood sugar numbers. I also see an endocrinologist who has been absolutely phenomenal and who is very up to date on what is going on around the world in diabetes research. When we struggled to get pregnant we were referred to a fertility specialist and I had an appointment in less than a week. They provided me with hormone supplements and free ultrasounds to monitor my pregnancy.
I am now over 5 months pregnant, educated about diabetes and healthy. My sugars have been well controlled - through my efforts and through the efforts of my "team". Aside from prescriptions I haven't paid for a thing...I have spoken with friends in America who have paid thousands of dollars for the kind of care I received. I did not wait and I have received world-class care.
The only other experience I've had was when I had a miscarriage two years ago. I went to the Emergency room and did have to wait a few hours, although I was not bleeding heavily. When I did get in I was treated with compassion and kindness and felt very much taken care of. Again I saw a doctor and had an ultrasound and only paid for the parking stall at the hospital.
While I recognize that some people have had an entirely different experience with the Canadian health care system, I do not thinking it is fair to demonize the system as a whole. My husband and I have lived in Africa, Asia, Europe, America and Canada and as someone with a chronic health care concern such as diabetes there is nowhere I would rather be than Canada. Working on the system to improve and fix its flaws is one thing but misrepresenting it as a failure on all counts is not only unfair it is inaccurate.
I am not a leftist Michael Moore fan, nor do I believe that the Canadian health care system is perfect...but it has certainly been good to me...and to my bank account.
Sometimes I just get so mad about this issue...our system is not perfect but just last week I had a flu shot, a blood test, a visit to my ob/gyn, a visit to the endocrinologist and an electrocardiogram of my baby's heart - all for free. And you know the best part? Anyone living in this country would have access to the same thing - and that just feels right.