For more than 40 years I was a health science professional at Cariboo Memorial Hospital. I have ample knowledge about our health care system both on professional and personal levels. Since retiring, I spend the winters in Arizona.
I find my American friends always have a lot of questions about our medicare system. They envy us. We do not have huge deductibles or policy limits.
We are never excluded due to pre-existing conditions. We all have health care, not just those who are lucky enough to be able to afford coverage.
Our system cost 50 per cent less than theirs and our outcomes are better.
Our public health care system has been under attack, however. Promoters of for-profit health care are on the offensive.
After a decade of deep cuts and increasing privatization, British Columbia can not afford to continue down the path to for-profit health care where care is available only to those who can afford it.
Our universal healthcare system was instituted in 1962 by the NDP’s Tommy Douglas.
In 2004 he was voted, by a CBC poll, to be Canada’s greatest Canadian!
Are there challenges to the system? Absolutely. But there is also a wealth of evidence-based public innovations that are addressing those challenges.
All we need is the leadership from a pro-public health care government to scale those innovations up and make improvements where needed.
It is not in our best interests to continue the move towards an American style system.