Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Chapter 19: Union Station

In case you are wonderin' what is going on with this post....click here.

Chapter 19 of Joe Fiorito's book takes a look at how the poor receive health care.

One would think that the poor could simply walk into any Canadian hospital and receive free health care. Canada is well known for its public health care system that all one needs to do is walk into the hospital and receive the assistance they need without any 'chaching' required. This is simply not the case, especially in Ontario.

Fiorito finds one mother who is barely making it in Toronto who has a sick child. She is presented with a bill for over five hundred bucks and that does not include any costs for prescription medication for her child. Considering that this illegal immigrant barely makes three hundred dollars a month alone, this bill is a little daunting for a mother with a sick child in their hands. We all know how I feel about illegal immigrants, but if this was a legal immigrant, I would feel sorry for her. There has to be a better way for poor people to receive health care.

The other issue Fiorito finds is that the homeless or new legal immigrants are finding it hard to receive health care due to the bureaucracy of the system. These people find it harder to navigate the bureaucratical system to gain a health card and other necessary identification to gain access to the public health system in Canada.

Fiorito noted that healthcare workers had set up a clinic for new immigrants and the poor to gain free healthcare from actual doctors and nurses. Also at these clinics, experts provide guidance to people how to get the necessary identification together to apply and receive a health card. Once these people receive a health card they may now receive health care at the hospitals. The health clinic is making a difference in the community.

New immigrants, the homeless and the poor need to be able to gaurentee themselves a basic level of health care. That seems like a basic Canadian value. But, sadly, Fiorito proves that doesn't seem to be.

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