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Monday, 2 December 2019

Second thoughts

Recently I wrote about the day my husband and I spent at the hospital with a friend. That day made me think about a number of issues and some of your responses to the post, A glimpse, added to those. 


When we were at the hospital, it was obvious seniors were the vast majority of users of the facilities. As we age, our bodies wear and our use of medical services increases obviously. Sitting there, I wondered what health issues will bring my husband and I into the services. We have been fortunate thus far in staying away from the medical system except for maintenance services. How much longer can that continue?


While we may have support of family and friends as we face health challenges, ultimately we face these challenges alone, including the end of our lives. The experiences of life prepare us to handle these challenges. While death is solitary, the love of those who have touched our lives which may include God, carries us through to the end and beyond if that is our belief.


Linda at https://abovetheclouds619.blogspot.com/ in response to the post wrote how a health issue in her family, when she was raising four young children, left her with a $12,000 debt after insurance. This is unimaginable to me. I take our income tax supported medicare system for granted. We do not rely on insurance to cover our major medical costs, they are covered by funding from the government. While I complain about waiting times to see specialists, a government funded Medicare system is a gift many don’t enjoy in other countries. That’s not to say our system couldn’t be improved, but we usually don’t go bankrupt or into debt for medical procedures.


My husband and I have medical and dental insurance so our regular health costs, such as prescriptions or treatments, such as physiotherapy, are minimal. For example, our prescriptions costs $3.10. Our monthly premiums are reasonable and continued into retirement. However, we know people who cannot afford their prescriptions which affects their health for certain. We need a pharmacare program in this country.


I live my life with gratitude which makes me a happy person for the most part. However, the experience of the hospital for a day made me realize, in a tangible way, that any day my husband and I are out on the trails or enjoying our picnics, there are many people going through health issues in the various hospitals around the island. Consequently, reasons for gratitude have multiplied and reinforced my drive to stay healthy as long as I can. At the same time, it has made me realistic in knowing that aging is a process of deterioration and decline. I hope to face it with courage and strength.


There are many wonderful health professionals in this country who give us the best of their ability and while not perfect, our hospitals are good facilities which are well maintained.


Even on the worst day of one person’s life, another person may be having one of their best. Life is a cycle and we have our turn with all aspects of it. We hope to have more good than bad but having the strength to deal with whatever comes makes the journey an interesting challenge.


Thank you everyone for your comments.







23 comments:

Anvilcloud said...

Wait times are a concern, but when action is required, it seems to occur. I can't imagine living in the American system. I know that if you have good insurance it's pretty darn good, but otherwise . . .

DJan said...

I know what you are saying, and I agree that nobody should ever have to go bankrupt because of medical bills. But in my country it happens every day. I have made it to the grand old age of 77 without major medical expenses, and I have decided that the Medicare Advantage plan I pay for will have to do for any major medical bills I might face in the future. Thoughtful post and I applaud the Canadian government for taking such good care of their citizens.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yes, we are incredibly blessed to have our medicare system in Canada. We need to be vigilant against erosion of it or privatization by conservative politicians.

Shammickite said...

I am eternally grateful for the medical system here in Canada. Luckily I haven't experienced any dire emergencies (fingers crossed!) but I have had two hip replacements and a few other minor surgeries, loads of assorted tests and mammograms and ultra sounds etc and all I have paid for so far is parking! Thank you Canada.

Mage said...

Oh brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Elephant's Child said...

I am very, very grateful for our medical system. It isn't perfect but very few people go broke funding essential medical needs. We too have insurance to cover the things not supported under our version of medicare.
Sadly prescriptions are not covered by either medicare OR the private insurance. Low income earners can get most scrips at a reduced fee but some drugs (particularly cancer drugs) are savagely expensive. I would really like the government cover to include dental treatment too.

Ruth Hiebert said...

I have had some of those thoughts as well. I'm not that young anymore and so far still in decent health, but for how long. I am thankful each good day.

At Home In New Zealand said...

New Zealand also provides its citizens with free medical care, something I really appreciate after having my husband ill for so many years and being in and out of hospital.
I think it is good for us to think about death, especially as we grow older. Dying is part of living, and we should prepare ourselves for it in the same way we prepare for other events in our lives.
Learning that my husband was going to die was hard for both of us, but made us realise that until that point we had been putting off thinking about our end-of-life and what we wanted to do. We discussed things and made plans and put procedures in place, for both of us, and I am so glad now that we did. I have not found it easy, after 45 years of marriage, to suddenly be making all decisions by myself. I am so glad we had time to sort out what and how much medical care we would be happy to receive, as well as what we would want for our funeral etc. There were still some decisions that had to be made, but the main ones were already taken care of.
I suppose this all sounds rather morbid to some people, but it is simply being practical. Once things were decided upon, we forgot about them and concentrated on enjoying the remaining time we had together. Mxx

Celia said...

I worry about those things too. I envy the Canadian Health Care System. I was lucky enough to retire with a good plan from my former employer, not cheap but without it I'd be duck soup. I worry for my eldest son, an insulin dependent diabetic. The costs are horrendous. He has no such retirement plan where he's employed. The current White House regime here constantly nibbles away at Medicare.

bill burke said...

Here when a person reaches 66, they get a free medical card. There are long waiting times but that is the way it is. I don't mind waiting, I always bring a book with me. If you need medication the costs are €2 for each perscription you need. I'm very thankful for these services.

Joanne Noragon said...

Yes, out medical system is the pits. I have decent coverage because I spend my savings on insurance, not clothes or dinner out.

William Kendall said...

Very well said.

Catarina said...

I agree with William. Very well said.

Debbie said...

i am living with a chronic illness and know all too well about all of this. just one of my medications cost upward of $ 8,000.00 per month. i am lucky to have my husbands help in navigating my insurance coverage and assistance programs for my medications!!

i don't wait too long at my doctors offices, or for tests, i am lucky...but i always bring my knitting, just in case!!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Absolutely things to think about Marie. Touch wood we are also healthy up to now and the medical system here in Australia is excellent too, but you are right, the choices we make to keep ourselves healthy and fit are more important now than ever ✨

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Well done, Marie. As a Canadian I am always grateful for our universal coverage which is enables us to live our lives knowing that a catastrophic medical event is not going to wipe us out financially. In fact, the recognition of access to medical care is a fundamental concept in most of the advanced democracies of the world and one hopes that soon it will be for everyone.

Kathie J. said...

Thank you.

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

In my country years ago, hospitals and medical procedures were not for " profit" like they are today. It all comes down to greed, with the medical and prescription corporations. These corporations are paying off politicians, they are so corrupt. I am lucky to continue to have a policy for both medical and prescriptions from my old job. No one should have to go bankrupt over medical bills. You are blessed to have a government "for the people". Have a happy day and a good week ahead,

Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

A very interesting post Marie. I can't tell you how many times I've thought of moving to Canada from the U.S. There is such a feeling of greed here now and lack of care of our less fortunate citizens. I just read a statistic that said 43% of the US population live in poverty. WE CAN NOT LET THIS CONTINUE and I pray that we come to our senses. Thanks for all you wrote.

Retired Knitter said...

As an American who retired from a health insurance company - I am one of the fortunate ones. My insurance covers almost all my medical needs at the age of 72 and my husband's ... and from what I have heard from others our monthly premiums are reasonable. And our wait times aren't too bad here in the US. BUT, I am acutely aware that I am in the minority and that basic health care for many of our citizens is beyond their reach ... which is a stain on our country as far as I am concerned. And it is a bone of contention politically. Who knows what the future will bring, but it can only get better if we get rid of the current pretender in the White House. I have always admired everything about Canada! I still do.

IslanderVal said...

Yes, I feel blessed to live where we have universal health care. Aging is a challenge and to have to worry about paying medical bills would be a burden. I totally agree with your post.

Rhodesia said...

We are covered for most things with top-up insurance here in France. But because we are British we have a letter from the powers that be in the UK saying that the NHS will be responsible for our health in Europe. What is going to happen after Brexit - nobody knows. It is quite a worry. We hope that we have lived in France for long enough that they will take over the responsibility but nothing is for sure. Everyone who voted for Brexit, either in or out, did not have the first clue what they were actually voting for.
Cheers Diane

Barbara said...

With my diabetes, and it's ability to ravish so many different body parts, I constantly fight back the fear of what sickness the future will bring. But I try not to worry because worry will not hold back the tides of time. You're right, our bodies are made for a finite length of time, the length of which we won't know till we get there.