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.