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Last month on entering one of our senior care facilities, my eye was caught by a psychedelic yellow poster with dark blue letters over two inches high screaming at me: “Are you at risk for stroke or heart disease?”
The message goes on to say: “Every seven minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke.” In case the elderly residents or their family visitors miss the point, the poster offers an opportunity to have a cardiovascular screening later this month in Nanaimo. On the other side of the poster it tells us it will only cost as little as $498, payable by credit card.
Like myself and friends, many of those ending their days in that and other extended care homes, worked for much of our adult lives building a public health care system that would take care of them and us. After all those years of struggle, what must it feel like to be subjected to such scare messages only to feed the bank balance of a private company?
Didn’t we adopt the Canada Health Care Act decades ago to prohibit that kind of private enterprise from competing with public health care? Or, is that act one of the many that the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is systematically dismantling with its American-style omnibus legislation?