Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Diabetic stupidity

Diabetes is one of those diseases that has touched many of us in multiple and personal ways. It runs in my wife's family. When she was pregnant with our two youngest children, she developed gestational diabetes and had to inject herself with insulin until she gave birth. She now lives with a significantly higher risk of becoming a diabetic.

Here in Canada, our federal politicians have been out-screaming each other to see who can promise us the most before we go to the polls next month. I thought it was kind of silly that they're throwing around funny-money, yet folks who suffer from diabetes are deliberately not taking care of themselves because they can't afford to do so.

This struck - and continues to strike - a chord with me. It seems like society can't get its priorities straight, especially when the current system will willingly fund the expensive surgeries and procedures these people will inevitably require because they didn't have the means to control the disease up-front.

More cynically, maybe this works in the country's favor because these folks will die younger, and as a result won't be clogging hospital beds in future. I know, it sounds harsh, but I wouldn't put it past a politician for thinking it. Here's the piece I published on this in today's paper.

Your turn: What other unfair funding practices have you come across in your neck of the woods? Are our elected leaders completely unable to logically and morally set priorities?
Diabetes skimping will cost dear later
Published Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The London Free Press

While candidates for federal office make billion-dollar promises for everything under the sun, diabetics across Canada are being crushed by four-figure annual expenses that aren’t covered by medicare.

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, almost one-quarter of its members can’t afford to purchase all of the supplies they need to keep themselves healthy – and alive.

When the resulting years-long game of poverty-inflicted Russian roulette pushes sufferers into premature heart disease, amputations and other diabetes-related afflictions, medicare will pay the bill. Too late, unfortunately.

All of this could be prevented if government truly believed that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But everyone’s too busy distributing holiday season electoral candy to notice.

Our penny-wise, pound-foolish approach to health care – namely skimping on critical preventative measures such as diabetes care and eye exams – ultimately costs society a tremendous amount in both dollars and pain.



netchick said...

I really appreciated this commentary, Carmi. Not because I have diabetes, but because many people around me do.

What a horrible illness that could be very treatable if only we put more effort into education, and certainly prevention of type II!

Instead, our silly politicians are rolling out their lies, only to take them back the moment they gain power.

Plumkrazzee said...

Everything about health insurance and government subsidized programs hacks me off to no end. For many of the same reasons you stated....when 100% of the world's healthcare experts agree that prevention is key, what is the problem??!!!

Aginoth said...

Glad to say that as an Insulin dependant diabetic in the UK I get all my Insulin, tablets, check-ups, needles, testing equipment free from the National Health Service.

Social Healthcare should be provided free (paid for by taxation obviously) by any country that wants to call itself truely Developed and Civilised.

Pearl said...

Funny that there would be no subsidy program to close the gap for those in need. The government penny-wise and pound-wise of the participaction and health breaks were prevention measures that were cut as well. Pity.

Juggling Mother said...

I would add that the UK has a massive type II prevention campaign, starting at school with healthy living & healthy eating intiatives & targeted at the most vulnerable of the adult population.

There are many things wrong with our NHS, but the politicians recognise the cost implications of save now, spend later.

Joe said...

Thank you for bringing such nice posts. Your blog is always fascinating to read.