Fri | Feb 3, 2023

Flaws in Canadian universal health system

Published:Monday | January 23, 2023 | 12:36 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

I am writing with reference to the letter titled ‘The true cost of health’ published on January 12. There’s the true financial cost of healthcare and its increasing denial.

While we Canadians are often envied abroad for our ‘universal’ healthcare system, our health may soon enough come second to profit maximisation, in particular those insatiably amassed by the pharmaceutical industry.

As a result, we continue to be the world’s only country that has universal healthcare, but no similar coverage of prescribed medication, however necessary.

Not only is medication less affordable, but other research has revealed that many low-income outpatients who cannot afford to fill their prescriptions end up back in the hospital system as a result. This is costing far more for provincial and federal government health ministries than if the medication had been covered.

Ergo, in order for the industry to continue raking in huge profits, Canadians and their health, as both individual consumers and a taxpaying collective, must lose out big time.

Also, I don’t believe it is just coincidental that the only two health professions’ appointments t are fully covered by the public plan are the two readily pharmaceutical-prescribing psychiatry and general practitioners.

Health specialists, such as counsellors, therapists and naturopaths, etc, are not covered at all.

Thus I get agitated when it’s suggested in the media, however well-intentioned, to get therapy, as though it’s reasonably, readily, financially accessible. Where I reside, it definitely is not – a psychotherapy session averages $200-plus per hour.

FRANK STERLE JR

White Ro​ck, BC

Canada