Monday, July 04, 2011

health care in Nova Scotia

I went to church yesterday for an occasional appearance. While there the minister's wife said she was going to do the sermon although her husband the minister was originally planned to.

It turns out he had been at the emergency the day before, July 2, and was still not feeling well. The emergency visit was telling. They sat there for around 6 hours Saturday evening, got no service, and left because they had church on Sunday morning.

Some might rationalize this as bad luck, the combination of staff taking vacation on Canada day weekend plus an increase in drinking this weekend with resultant extra ER visits. I wish that was the case. But on facebook I often see status of people who spent 5-6+ hours in ER waiting for service.

The minister is a good man, in good shape, around late 40s I'd guess. Doesn't smoke or drink. It sucks that after paying in all that money when he actually could use service he got stiffed. sigh, well that's the government for you. Two generations of government medicare now and the age threshold for "go home and die" is now apparently 50.

So what does it mean in Darwinistic terms. Who are the fittest that get to survive?

- those who can stay well and avoid having to rely on the health care system

- those like the minister who can survive going without service when they are ill
- those who have the contacts and political skills to get the inside access to jump the queue and get service
- those who will fight hard enough and make enough of a scene to jump the queue and get service ahead of those who quietly wait their turn. nice guys finish last. nice guys go home after 6 hours without service

Also in health care the Nova Scotia government is suing big tobacco over health care costs. No I don't smoke myself. This lawsuit is a joke and wrong on so many levels.

- cigarettes are already very heavily taxed so the health money has already been collected. this is just a shakedown
- smoking is a red herring. this is just a distraction to avoid having an honest discussion about the real issue: obesity
- it is wrong to attack a third party over the actions of individuals. you don't sue the used clothing store when a Vancouver rioter uses a gasoline soaked rag to torch a police cruiser. you sue the individuals who torched the car.

it's the same thing here. the public health system has always been susceptible to the tragedy of the commons. all this does is it tells individual adults they are not responsible for their actions. the only way this lawsuit can proceed will be if the government must also sue individual smokers. it cannot be otherwise. we cannot hold only the corporate tobacco responsible for the actions of individual free citizens

the problem with suing individual smokers is that it destroys the lifestyle neutral belief system the public health system is built on. once in place the overweight/drunks/etc will be next for extra fees to cover the shared cost of their lifestyle choices

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The reason there is a back up at the ER is because of people like him. Why didn't he call his family Dr and see their doctor on call instead of going to the ER?

I understand your point about smoking but smoking companies are made up of individuals who made decisions as well. Why shouldn't they be held accountable as well?

Comparing a used piece of clothing to a cigarette is silly. Cigarettes are sold with having only one purpose. They are sold to be smoked and is harmful and ultimately causes human health problems. Clothing is sold to be used to cover a body from the elements. It has no intended harmful use. If a consumer uses it to start a fire, then that's another issue. And in fact, there are government regulations regarding flammability of some clothing. So businesses can be sued if they sell these prohibited goods.