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In Blair Bigham’s article “All Canadians deserve access to precious emergency care”, which appeared in The Globe and Mail on July 2, 2018. Bigham argues that Canada’s health care system is world-class, but the federal government must amend the Canadian Health Act to guarantee the air-ambulance support network for all citizens. He argued that all Canadians are primarily entitled to first aid when there is an emergency. He compared people who live in cities with those who live in rural areas, he discussed how to deal with the cost of using air-ambulance in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.
Canada’s health care system is among the best in the world but, for some canadians accessing the best hospitals in remote areas can be incredibly difficult due to the vast and challenging terrain coupled with the small size of some of these communities. This also makes it difficult for hospitals to be built and for health care providers to reach them in these remote areas. According to Bigham (2018) The Canadian Health Act guarantees portability, universality and accessibility but, lacks the enforcement of these principles on the provinces and territories who then charge Canadians directly for flights to access critical life saving services. He points out that urban residents receive the care they need when they need but, this is not the case for the eighteen percent of Canadians who live outside of major cities in remote areas. Hospitals are a necessity for everyone, and it is even more necessary in an emergency. Presently the network of helicopters, airplanes, and ambulances is disconnected and scattered from coast to coast often costing patients thousands of dollars out-of-pocket to access emergency services at hospitals. I agree with the author’s sentiments that it is not feasible to build hospitals in these remote areas and that air-ambulance services would be a better alternative.
Most Canadian provinces charge patients, who do not have a provincial Health Card, for using air-ambulance service. the article gives the examples of British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario which all offer free air-ambulance to those who have a provincial Health Card but those who do not have to pay the full cost. Bigham uses the case of a pregnant Amy Savill from Alberta who visited Timmins, Ont. in 2016 and went into premature labour. She had to be flown from Timmins, Ont. to Sudbury, Ont. by way of a government funded helicopter for which she was charged $30,000. Amy Savill is Alberta person and Ontario government made her pay for using air-ambulance even she was given birth. The government followed the law but they should give a mercy to her. The author ends with a sensible message that the provinces should work together to ensure that vulnerable Canadians can access the health care system in an emergency. If this can not be done he recommends that the federal government amend the Canadian Health Act to include this provision. I agree with the author’s though, it is really good idea to all people who lives in Canada. Also, each government need to make more hospital for who live outside of provinces. If the provinces work together about air-ambulance insurance and building the hospital they will save a lot of people in Canada.
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