This is NOT a political post. It's only my personal experience of Publicly Funded Health Care in Ontario, Canada.
I have always believed in Publicly Funded Health Care. It has been part of the core Canadian Identity for a long time. In 1947, the Saskatchewan Government, led by leader Tommy Douglas, introduced the first provincial hospital insurance program In Canada. There were many oppositions to a national publicly funded health care program: doctors, medical associations, insurance companies, big business, etc. But many fought to do the right thing, including the government.
Before I was ill, I have heard many news reports about how the Public Health Care money was being misused. I'm sure with such a behemoth system, misuse of funds and mistakes are unavoidable. Of course the parts that are not working need to fixed. But it didn't shake my believe in the concept of Publicly Funded Health Care.
Now that I am ill, I saw first hand how important publicly funded health care for all is. At my regional hospital where I stayed, all the specialists, doctors, nurses, therapists were hard working, dedicated and showed enormous compassion and kindness to me. All the intricate co-ordinations, consultations within and outside the hospital on the fly, medication dispensing, carefully tailored treatments, etc, were done with such ease and expediency. And when I was being discharged, all the necessary specialists were assembled to plan my discharge. A lot of phone calls, paperwork and arrangements were all made on my behalf, just so that I would have everything I would need when I get home. And when I got home, there were nurses who visit me daily to check my health. An occupational therapist came to check that my home is set up correctly for a patient to be as comfortable and as independent as possible. And then there are others who deliver supplemental oxygen, loaned me walkers, hospital beds, etc. All these are done at no cost to me, other than the taxes I have been paying.
And I'm just a regular Ontario citizen. I'm not rich or famous or in high power. The regional health centre I went to does this for everyone who comes to their door - whoever they are, even if they are not paying taxes. And they charge them nothing neither.
I'm also aware that there are others in Ontario that are not as lucky as me. There are not enough health services available in rural areas, First Nations regions, etc. It is not easy to distribute services to remote areas but we need to figure out something to help those areas. I'm interested in starting my research on this to understand these issues.