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  • Posted February 22, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Bitter pill: The cost of health care in the U.S.

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    Health Care can be Low Cost


    Most of us have seen all the annoying spam for discounted prescriptions in Canada. As with all good tales there's a touch of reality in the story. Discounted prescriptions are just a part of it though because it's likely that before you go visit the pharmacy you'll likely need to see a Doctor or even visit a clinic or hospital. Indeed as I reported at CNN a few years ago I was hospitalized in critical care for about 3 weeks with literally hundreds of tests to determine that I had Necrotizing fasciitis or Flesh Eating disease. Although I survived the ordeal, I am very aware that had this happened to me in the USA I may bot have survived the financial disaster that would have followed me upon discharge.


    We are not smug Canadians snickering at our neighbours and best friends. We are a nation of people that have a great deal of difficulty understanding how the economically largest and most powerful country in the world can let this happen to her people.


    Health care in Canada is not a privilege it's a right embedded tight there in our Charter of Rights. Some provinces charge a fee up to a maximum of $35 per month per person but most of Canada pays no direct fee. Obviously our system has flaws. We hear some Americans say that our health care system is broken. Really? Why is it that we spend much less per person in medical care yet our life expectancy is greater here?


    My sister had a son that died of Cancer a few years ago. She had lived in Germany for many years and came back to Canada to raise her son when he became ill. She never worked at all for 9 years while he was being treated. As we do not pay directly for care we could not accurately assess the cost but it was certainly well over a million dollars. The only charges she had any trouble with were parking charges at the hospital. They ended up evening dropping those. It did not matter that she was poor or rich this was not at all a factor, which is exactly as it should be. All Canadians would agree.


    Our system in Canada is still evolving. As we age changes are sure to be made but one thing remains absolutely certain, not one person in Canada left, right, communist, capitalist, liberal, conservative is prepared to let our health care system.


    I challenge every American to visualize a future where you do not "ever" think about the cost of your or your family's health care. Imagine actually taking or leaving a job for something other than health care.


    You may think Doctors here get a lousy deal out of all this. I just happen to be married to one and I can tell you that Doctors here are not hurting. They are all self employed and bill anybody they want for their services, including the local government if that be the case.


    Included is a typical bill for monthly health care coverage on my province for a family of 4. There is no deductible.


    Percy von Lipinski

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