Canada has shown the world how to balance freedom with compassion and tradition with innovation, in your efforts to provide healthcare to all your citizens, to treat your senior citizens with the dignity and respect they deserve… ~1995 Bill Clinton Address to Canadian House of Commons.
What makes Canada special? Where do I start? Our constitution states that every citizen has fundamental freedoms; the right to vote, the right to leave, enter, or remain in Canada, and the right to life, liberty, and security. Our justice system may not be perfect but it is still better than some countries. Not to mention our natural resources, vast spaces and diverse landscapes! It is so difficult to focus on just one thing that makes Canada great, but I choose to focus on a factor that is personal to me, the health care system of Canada.
I believe that it is our healthcare system that makes Canada special. So special, that other countries are trying to achieve the same level of health care as we have. Canada’s incredible heath care system is dear to me because my close cousin Teagan recently had a brain tumor removed. She and her family were able to focus on her health and not worry about the financial burden that a surgery of that magnitude would incur. I cannot imagine a life without Teagan!
Teagan was on her clinical rotation in her first year of nursing at the University of Regina when she fainted. It was not like a normal fainting spell, she fell like a tree – straight over! She broke off her front tooth and the doctors felt she had a bad concussion. A few days later, she was still not feeling well and after a CT scan followed by an MRI the doctors confirmed that she had a tumor in her brain. We were all very scared! She completed her final exams in April (passing them all by the way – so amazing considering the stress she was under) and on April 30th she had her surgery.
The surgery took place at the University of Saskatchewan and with the expertise of top notch surgeons like Dr. Wu and with the help of the latest technology, her surgery went great! Incredibly, Teagan was able to go home on May 5th.
Today she is cancer free and can continue living her life! Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone in our world. Many families cannot afford the medical attention that their loved ones need. You never know when something traumatic could happen that could change or end your life.
A life threatening situation struck my grandfather when he was visiting the United States. On their annual holiday, my 74 year old grandfather was brought into the hospital. The doctors found out his main artery in his heart was 98% blocked! A heart bypass surgery was needed to save his life. Without the option to fly back to Canada the surgery had to be done in Nevada. Like Teagan, he too had top notch surgeons and the latest technology that saved his life. Only in his case the medical bill came to over $260,000! He was fortunate to have insurance coverage, but think of the people in our world who do not and would have to face an expense such as this. It would be devastating! Yet another reason that shows how truly amazing our Canadian health care system is!
These are just a few of my personal experiences where healthcare has made Canada an amazing place to call my home.