I want to respond to the many media reports regarding the looming expense and burden concerning the cost of health care for seniors.
Yes, costs are an undeniable. Singling out this group specifically is a concern, as there is not one Canadian, or group of Canadians, who are not a burden to the health-care system, at one time or another.
A focus on one group only is irresponsible and misleading. It can lead to discrimination, anger, blame, abuse and crimes committed against the members of the particular group which has been unfairly and inaccurately identified.
The medical system has many statistical data and facts related to aging and health and medical system use. Lets start looking at the use of all groups, broken down by one single identifiable characteristic and report on as many dismal, negative and judgement-worthy details as possible. Lets look at waste and mismanagement in the health-care system and all levels of government. Lets look at unnecessary spending, for example, on building a new water way for the BC Winter Games in Prince George.
You might say the cost for this has nothing to do with health care. Every dollar wasted could be used elsewhere. I would rather see Prince George host a seniors appreciation day, offering accurate and positive information about seniors. Lets single out a group for health-care usage based upon risk-taking behaviours. Maybe we can start singling out subgroups and start the insidious process of marrying negative information with it, repeatedly, in the media, until it really starts to take root or take effect.
Lets stop this narrow and negative approach to blaming seniors for the sad state of our health-care system. I dont see much in the way of positive change or steps being taken to look at this looming problem, especially not in the mainstream media. Home care is being presented as the one, big answer, but it doesnt exactly reveal who is supposed to provide the bulk of this care, or how, when, and what happens when the many problems involved arise. As many of these problems should be identified beforehand, and what will need to be done and by whom.
If the responsibility goes entirely to the patient, then this must be known and understood fully, right from the start. I would like to see media reports contain more essential, detailed and accurate information about what seniors are going to be faced with in terms of health care. Then, lets look at whether or not this would be acceptable for all Canadians.