I love being a Canadian.
To be born Canadian was to be born fortunate.
Canada is a great place to live. As Canadians we:
Are a democratic country
Have freedom of speech and religion
Love to say “eh?”
Apologize for everything
Have a passion for all things hockey
Prefer to use British English over American English (i.e. it is colour, not color)
Have decent gun control policies to help reduce violent crimes
Can be annoying polite
Are blessed with some of the most beautiful untouched natural landscape in the world
No matter where I travel in the world, I am grateful that I can return home to a beautiful and safe country.
Today is Canada day (the celebration of the birth of our country on July 1, 1867), so what better day then to celebrate being an unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) patient. Yes, I did just say celebrate being an unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss patient – I did not realize I would ever think to celebrate this, but I guess like everything there are always positive things to focus on. And the positive side of me being diagnosed with RPL is that I am a Canadian.
Being a Canadian I have government funded public medical care. For the most part, I do not have to worry about the cost of my medical treatments – according to Wikipedia “about 91% of hospital expenditures and 99% of total physician services are financed by the public sector”. From my personal experience, things like almost all doctor visits, hospital stays, blood tests, surgeries are covered. This of course means we do not need to worry about paying out of pocket for these procedures or for private insurance and there are no co-payments. And, when we do have to pay for doctor appointment in my experience it is for more extravagant reasons – i.e. traveling out of country and want to ensure I have the necessary shots and medications for the trip, or if a full medical is required for one’s life insurance policy. Otherwise, what all Canadians do have to pay for is the cost of medication, so most of us have private medical insurance for this type of circumstance. Usually this is provided by your employer through some sort of employee/employer benefit paid plan – in my experience as a professional, this is usually incredibly cheap to the point of not being a concern. Sometimes, for those who are self-employed or unemployed (my husband and I) you purchase this type of coverage on your own. And at least in our province, this is pretty straight forward and doesn’t seem overly expensive.
I should point out that in Canada a lot of medical coverage changes between provinces. Ultimately, throughout the entire County, everyone is entitled to the publicly funded system for nearly all major and necessary procedures. So, from an infertility perspective, this means that I believe only 1 or 2 provinces provide funding for IVF, whereas the rest do not (as I’m not experienced in IVF, I’m not positive which ones cover and which ones do not). So, there are still differences, but at the end of the day in Canada, no-one should die due to being unable to afford a procedure.
Yes, the Canadian system is not perfect, and I’m sure a quick Google search would indicate there are problems. Problems, like long wait times for elective, non-emergent conditions or screening tests. But, ultimately, in our experience, once you need help, you get help in this country. So, I’ll take wait times for elective non-emergent conditions any day over bankruptcy due to an unforeseen medical emergency. And, I also acknowledge that no system is perfect, so we will experience problems or annoyances from time to time.
So, how has the public system affected my husband and I as we are experiencing Recurrent Pregnancy Loss? Simple, every single thing has been paid for except our medications. A brief list of what we has been paid for:
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)
- Countless blood tests – 5 pregnancies = lots of beta testing!
- Genetic testing
- 1 Emergency D&C with over 11 medical professionals in the operating room
- 1 hospital stay as a result of the emergency D&C
- 1 medically required abortion (see post here)
- 1 appointment at the Early Pregnancy Loss clinic (worst medical experience of our entire RPL process, more on that another day)
- At least 5 Emergency Room visits
- All medications provided to me in the hospital and at the early pregnancy loss clinic (misoprostol/cytotec, morphine, anaesthetics, etc.)
- Countless family doctor medical visits
- Countless RE appointments
- Countless ultrasounds (I’d venture the guess that we are averaging 10 per miscarriage as we wait to confirm fetal demise)
- Psychologist appointments (this is usually privately paid in Canada, but I have coverage for it so I do not pay)
So, what exactly am I thankful for? I am thankful I am experiencing this horrible experience and all the above medical procedures as a Canadian. I imagine if I were in a different country with a private medical system (i.e. USA), I would have to factor in the cost of all of these procedures to determine if we can continue trying to have a family. And we would likely be bankrupt quite some time ago. Instead, I figure I have just “earned back” every tax dollar my husband and I have ever spent and probably more! So, I guess this means we never get to complain about paying taxes again!
And, since I love being a Canadian, I thought I’d also share a classic beer commercial from a few years back that does a great job of showing off all the other non-medical reasons why I love being Canadian:
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