Health Care in Canada: #DAresists #Medicare4all

I moved to Canada in 1975 just after I married. At 28 and having been very healthy all of my life, I was quite naïve about the cost of healthcare in the US, and fell very easily into Canada’s single payer system. I bore and raised two children under it, never paying a single penny for healthcare, including maternity care, emergency stitches, tonsillectomies, and allergy specialists. Indeed, having to pay to give birth would have shocked me, I think. Regarding our family health, everything went quite smoothly until 1996 when my husband and I were involved in a car accident which left me a quadriplegic. We lived in Halifax but the accident occurred in New Brunswick and we were taken to the Moncton City Hospital where I spent a month in intensive care. I have nothing but the highest praise for the care I received in that facility, for which I never paid a single penny. At the end of the month I was moved to Halifax where I spent two more weeks in hospital care and then moved on to the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre. I spent 10 months in this wonderful facility, again not paying a single penny. I had to learn how to live all over again down to the basics of going to the bathroom, feeding myself, and finding the best way to read a book. I was helped to regain my strength and taught mobility necessities like how to transfer from the wheelchair to a bed. I met others with mobility issues and became comfortable with the idea that this wasn't the end of my world. At the rehab, my husband and I were counselled on how to best modify our home for my wheelchair needs and compromised hand mobility. We were helped to navigate government bureaucracies and insurance companies for continuing care and future financial needs. My time at rehab was invaluable and my gains could not have been accomplished within the six week time period that I understood US insurance companies allowed for rehab, at least back in 1996. Again, I paid nothing for the care I received in that facility. This past summer, because of severe osteoporosis from sitting in a wheelchair for 21 years, I broke both of my legs at different times. I received immediate care in emergency including same day admission to the hospital. Surgery was planned for the following day until the doctors and I together decided that it would do more harm than good. When deemed necessary, my doctors have been able to secure diagnostic tests for me within a couple of days – x-rays, colonoscopies and ultrasounds. My son was diagnosed with MS at the age of 24 and again has had only positive experiences with healthcare. NS pays for his very expensive drugs. In either of these cases, our family would have been met with catastrophic health care costs, if not then forced to sell our home or possibly go into bankruptcy, were it not for Canada's easy to access single-payer healthcare system.