A couple of weeks ago I started making small monthly contributions to Canadian Doctors for Medicare (CDFM).
I don’t agree with everything that they say and do but on the other hand I can’t think of a single group to which I belong that could meet that standard anyway. I tend to have some funny ideas and I’ve given up looking for Canadian Doctors Who Think Like Scott. If such a group existed, they likely wouldn’t have me as a member anyway. Sorry Groucho.
I support CDFM because they try to help patients just like the ones in my practice.
I work in Stoney Creek. When I first started practice, I had lots of steelworkers and their families in my practice. I had lots of farm families too. But Hamilton and Stoney Creek have changed. The well-paying manufacturing jobs are disappearing and are being replaced by less well-paying service jobs. Fewer people have benefits.
I shudder when a waitress or a truck driver in my practice is diagnosed with diabetes. I know that some of them will not be able to afford the medications that they will need to prevent serious complications.
Canadian Doctors for Medicare stands up for people in that situation.
I also have a personal reason to support CDFM. I grew up in a working class family. My father was a very hard-working tradesman at Bell. He worked 6 days a week and took all of the evening overtime he could get. I knew that when it rained, he would be out all night fixing ‘wets’. My mother stayed home and there were 5 kids in my family.
We were not poor by any stretch of the imagination. We weren’t part of the working poor either. But in the 60’s, before medicare, my parents thought twice before taking one of us to the doctor’s office. And forget about the emergency room. If you were awake and could walk, you didn’t need a doctor.
The arrival of medicare helped my family out enormously.
I was reminded of that this week when an acquaintance of mine, in her late 70s, refused to go to the hospital even though she had severe diarrhea and had nothing to drink for a week. She would not listen to my advice and I was on the verge of picking her up and carrying her to the ED when she finally relented. She was severely dehydrated.
She was given three litres of fluids and sent home. “See I wasted eveyone’s time. I should never have gone to the hospital.”
This was a person who grew up in an era when one didn’t go to see the doctor or go to the hospital until it was too late.
We need medicare because people like my friend should not have to think twice about getting help.
Some people may argue that we can have two parallel systems. A medicare system and a second option outside of medicare. Others will argue that the private system will always be better funded and will rob resources from medicare.
I’m just glad that there is a group out there fighting for my patients.
Scott Douglas Wooder, MD