As Canadians we like to take pride in our publicly funded healthcare system, but the truth is many of us -- especially those with or caring for someone with disabilities or chronic conditions -- pay out of pocket for a wide range of essential health services. Studies show Canadians pay as much as 30 per cent of our health needs privately.
It should have been a moment for my husband and I to celebrate, to hug and kiss over. Unfortunately, it wasn't. Immediately after delivering, I cried out to the nurses about the pain in my stomach. It had gotten much worse. It had become unbearable. That's when I started to fall into a deep, confusing haze.
Millions of workers across Ontario lack access to paid sick days and job protection. For many, taking a sick day is simply not an option. This gap in access to an important protection disproportionately affects people in low-wage jobs and precarious work, a sure signal about the unfairness of employment standards.
I regularly get the flu shot and I vaccinate my children too. But every so often, I question these decisions, particularly when I come across words that are new to me, like "live attenuated vaccine" or a new vaccine delivery type, such as nasal mist instead of the usual needle. This happened to me this week while deciding whether to get the annual flu shot or not.
Hope is truly something beautiful. But so very easy to forget when faced with the pain of loss, when faced with the pain of separation. When faced with death. And while we might forget such when in the midst of great trouble, marked by betrayal and rejection, by the tragedy of disease and unexpected loss of both minor and grave proportions.
As in the U.S., there's much soul searching about whether the country is getting as much bang for the bucks it spends. Does the quality of care match the country's outlay? A number of studies, including the latest international comparison from The Commonwealth Fund, show that Canada and the U.S. both fall down on several dimensions of care.
Bad gift-giving, whether material or microbial, should never happen. While there may never be a means to prevent waking up to a disappointing present under the tree, you can minimize the possibility of sharing infection. Hopefully, with these five steps, you can set aside the worry and focus on the spirit of the holiday season.
Chronic diseases account for 36 million deaths annually, over 60 per cent of the human mortality rate. They continue to accelerate globally and are advancing across all regions, affecting all socioeconomic classes. It is expected that almost three-quarters of all deaths will be caused by chronic diseases by 2020.