Make your reactions regarding this article http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/when-a-stagnant-health-system-meets-an-aging-population-disaster-awaits/article22487481/ "When a...

Make your reactions regarding this article http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/when-a-stagnant-health-system-meets-an-aging-population-disaster-awaits/article22487481/

"When a stagnant health systems meet an aging population."

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shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My first reaction is entirely due to the fact that I'm American. In America, we've had a contentious health care debate raging for a couple of decades now. When the Democrats make their case for government run health care or universal health care they often cite the Canadian system as an example of how to do it right. This articles illuminates the fact that, like other countries, Canada is struggling to deal with the medical implications of a larger elderly population than at any point in history.

The article details the problem Canadians are having with long delays in seeing doctors or receiving care. This is something that public healthcare opponents in America have warned about. It even goes so far as to say that Canada is falling behind America since the U.S. instituted Obamacare. The idea that Obamacare has actually improved healthcare in the U.S. would make some Americans scratch their heads (although not those who are now under the healthcare umbrella for the first time).

But it looks like the problem in Canada is not quality of care for the general population; rather, it is how to handle what it calls the “silver tsunami,” the large group of citizens who will become elderly in the next 15 years. Instead of having an adequate supply of long-term care facilities, these citizens are being “warehoused” in regular hospitals, where they are taking up valuable time, space, and resources and still not receiving appropriate care.

The answer seems to be investing in more long-term facilities that will specialize in the care of the elderly. This will make it possible to properly supervise patients with age-related conditions such as dementia and problems with walking and movement.

What the article does not address is the problem that always goes along with any new social programs or major initiatives—money. Where will the money come from to implement new care facilities? New taxes? Or will the medical industry be able to figure out how to reapportion enough existing funds toward new facilities for the elderly?

The article notes that Ottawa is apparently in greater danger of being negatively impacted by this issue than the rest of Canada, implying that this is due to the fact that Ottawa has not fully taken part in the Canadian healthcare system.

 

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