I actually think that we have had a pretty good medical system in Canada. But I think that although the expertise is here, and we have universal access, there are ways where things could be improved.
Doctors have many skills and tools for treating those who are suffering from assorted ailments: There medications for all sorts of things, surgical procedures, physical therapy, and so on. There is coverage for these treatments and the diagnostics required… except one area of the human body…
Health care, it seems, ends at the gums,
For reasons I don’t understand teeth and gums are included as part of the human body when it comes to medical coverage. It is possible to purchase additional coverage that would include dentistry. (Optometry can also be covered if you buy the extended coverage. Many companies include this extended coverage as well as paying the basic premiums. However for a large part of the population, dental care charges come out-of-pocket.
Dental care isn’t a matter strictly of cosmetic worth. People need their teeth to chew food with. Infections of teeth can spread to the jaws and other parts of the body. Bad teeth can even be a source of clots that can cause strokes, heart attacks, and pulmonary embolism among other results of thrombosis, or blood clots.
I think that dental care would be preventative medicine when it comes to dangers of infection and blood clots. Dental care can be a life saver!
At least here in BC if cancer is detected in the mouth, some procedures are considered dental and not covered.
I think it is sad when people lose teeth due to a lack of dental care, even if they practice good oral hygiene.
Why does medical coverage end at the gums?
I don’t think there are very many people who “like” to go to the dentist, but the alternative is rather painful and can be severe health consequences.
We have good universal medical coverage here in Canada, but there are a few holes in it like overtaxed hospitals, a lack of universal pharmaceutical coverage, and a lack of universal dental coverage. There are other leaks in the medical dam as well.
Consider how difficult it is for smaller towns to attract medical professionals, or for many to find a family physician. (a general practitioner) Or, consider what devices like glasses and hearing aides (and their expensive batteries) cost out-of-pocket.
We have it so good in some ways, but there is much room for improvement.
Our system isn’t too bad, but it does have some holes in it. I’ll write about some more holes in the near future.