Inconsistancy probably costs money


#juan
#1
Some things I ran accross yesterday. My daughter is trying to quit smoking and to that end she's using a nicotine patch. In the course of the conversation, I discovered that the nicotine patch is not covered under the medical system. My reaction was that somebody was making a wrong decision because smoking causes all kinds of serious problems like heat disease, lung cancer, high blood pressure, etc., and all kinds of sugery that is covered. Would we rather pay for a relatively cheap patch, or very expensive surgery. I also discovered that birth control pills are not covered. The thing is, that abortions are covered Does it seem to anyone else that these little inconsistancies will no doubt cost us money.
Last edited by #juan; Nov 9th, 2006 at 08:05 AM..Reason: spelling
 
sanctus
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

Some things I ran accross yesterday. My daughter is trying to quit smoking and to that end she's using a nicotine patch. In the course of the conversation, I discovered that the nicotine patch is not covered under the medical system. My reaction was that somebody was making a wrong decision because smoking causes all kinds of serious problems like heat disease, lung cancer, high blood pressure, etc., and all kinds of sugery that is covered. Would we rather pay for a relatively cheap patch, or very expensive surgery. I also discovered that birth control pills are not covered. The thing is, that abortions are covered Does it seem to anyone else that these little inconsistancies will no doubt cost us money.

I hadn't quite thought of that before, but I think you are correct. It would seem to me that covering birth control pills and the patch would, eventually, be a huge saving to an overburdened health care system.
 
Tonington
#3
I agree Juan, seems a bit short-sighted doesn't it. Thats the problem I see with our healthcare system, it's all therapeutic, with hardly any profilactive. I mean prevention seems a much better avenue to me.
 
#juan
#4
I got one of these form letters from my MLA telling me what a good job he was doing and asking me if I knew of something I would like to see improved. I told him roughly what was in my topic post and fired it off. It might end up in the round file but what the hell. I wasn't doing anything else.
 
ottawabill
#5
the problem is that an ounce of prevention does not carry the same weight as a pound of cure... For a government to say...we will pour money into lung cancer research will get kudo's galour..(hmm sounds like a Bond girl) but to pay for the patch would be lost after a day or two...It's all optic's right??

Funnier still is the fact that smoking is harder to stop then heroin however there are no health care addiction programs to stop... I did stop after years of smoking..did it alone..almost killed my family in the process but likely could have done it years before with the proper help.

On the other topic..and I may get slamed for this..I don't think we should pay for abortions unless it is for rape, and medical problem etc...to have the public pay for basically an intrusive birth control program is a waste.

Our system pays for no drugs that I know of??
 
Sassylassie
#6
In Nova Scotia only those on Income Assistance get help with drug coverage, the rest of us have private insurance.
 
ottawabill
#7
same here in Ontario....if you need lots of drugs you better have coverage...Actaully Provincial coverage pays for less each year. The idea of free medical is a farce, atleast in Ontario...you pay for eye exams, abulance, drugs, extended care (they kick you out od the hospital the second you are not dieing!!!)

And for all that and the money we put in you have to wait 6 months to see a specialist....unless you know someone..then it's next week....I know...since I know someone
 
#juan
#8
In B.C we pay for extended health benifits, and we have something called Pharmacare that pays for a portion, or all, of your drug needs depending on your age and income. I was quite surprised to find out these things were not covered. I went through much the same cold turkey experience as Ottawabill about twenty years ago. The biggest motivation I have for not smoking is the threat of death. My family would shoot me if I ever started again. $8.50 a pack would likely be another deterrent. I don't feel as strongly about birth control pills because they are such a social issue. It does, on the face of it, sound like a good idea, but I am trespassing on dangerous ground here.
 
tracy
#9
I have long complained about birth control not being covered. It's a lot cheaper to pay for me to have a shot every three months than a baby every two years... It especially annoys me that some provinces will pay for viagra but not birth control. Neither are medically necessary, but we cover one and not the other.
 
Tonington
#10
My university only this year implemented a health/dental plan for students. I opted to keep it even though I have better coverage through my mothers plan, beacuase I'm getting braces this winter, and I will be able to use both plans. Anyone who thinks we have a universal public health care system that can meet all our needs is out of touch. I think that privatized suregries and clinics could be a viable alternative to relieving some of the pressure on the public system. The problem I see is how would we go about deciding which doctors can go private, and perhaps what services they should be providing to a public system if they choose to go private. There are many people who could afford to pay for private services, and health plans could also help to cover some of those expenses. Then maybe a fee could be levied for private operations which would go back into the public system. Also the pressure would be relieved from the burdened public system. Wait times could be reduced for those who can't afford the private option.
 
tracy
#11
Wait times are generally caused by staff shortages. A private system does nothing to fix that, and so wait times are unaffected.
 
Jay
#12
Quote:

Wait times are generally caused by staff shortages. A private system does nothing to fix that, and so wait times are unaffected.

And how the system is managed.
 
Curiosity
#13
There are probably a number of other "cessation or prevention" prescriptions out there not covered because they have to do with choice by the individual.

Health care is prevention of disease - smoking in the long term causes disease but smoking itself does not and can be "cured" by cessation decision therefore why should the public pay for a pharmaceutical even though they later may treat a far more serious illness, however many more die before they get to that point.

Pregnancy can be prevented by other means than pharmaceutical. The older ones even some which are dangerous for many women are still considered "modern" medicine... Or the health care plan hasn't got around to considering shots for coverage because they aren't up to speed on any statistics which governments rely heavily on and you can't prove how many "pregnancies" were prevented.... unless you have some magical machine watching all the women who have sex.

Drug addiction and alcohol addiction are also notoriously without much care or help by any governmental plans.

If you think government feels they should care if you want to kill yourself or get pregnant.......well they don't. The government is a large machine without a brain or a heart.
 
#juan
#14
Since we are going to be paying for smoker's medical needs eventually, why not pay a little more to try to head off some of the more expensive procedures. I know how powerful that particular addiction is and we should be doing all we can to help. Not every smoker is going to uses the patch, but it should be available to those who want to help themselves.
 
tracy
#15
Prevention is one of the key components of primary health care, otherwise we wouldn't pay for vaccinations. Public health care spending saves money later on. Canadians have long been schooling their nurses and doctors on the social determinants of health, so it isn't all about disease treatment only.
 
Curiosity
#16
How can you prevent choice???

Addictions are choice - how you practice prevention and birth control is choice.

It is an old argument about government dictating to people's "sin" if you want to use an ancient word.

No government can predict disease arising from smoking or addiction.

No government can dictate what method of birth control a person should use.

Should government remove all products which induce addiction? Can you say: Black market?

Should government give all females of child bearing years shots for prevention on a regular basis? How should this be accomplished? And would it be the role of government to determine who should be left fertile and who should be given the shot? For example: A 12 year old girl.

When it comes to disease - actual presented disease - or infirmity - then steps can be taken to mitigate the spread to others or to prevent the disease... from gifts of science we already have (childhood disease for example)...

...but prevention of certain things is almost impossible unless you become so "socialized" you create a rebellion or even worse illegal methods of procurement.

Tracy you write:
Prevention is one of the key components of primary health care, otherwise we wouldn't pay for vaccinations. Public health care spending saves money later on. Canadians have long been schooling their nurses and doctors on the social determinants of health, so it isn't all about disease treatment only.


Prevention can only be accomplished if there is an overall agreement by the government and the people that it is in the best interests of the group - but you are dreaming if you think you can stop addiction through education of the medical profession. And who will decide about birth control for children? Their parents or the government?
 
Tonington
#17
Wait lists are as you say generally caused by staff shortages, but they are also caused by a lack of equipment. We have many skilled doctors here in Canada who aren't cleared to work, despite having all the qualifications. Let them open up private clinics, it doesn't cost us anything to train them. People leave the public system to get care in the private system, now everyone behind that person is up one spot. We have many foreign trained doctors here who are going to leave and go elsewhere because Canada is limiting the positions availbale to foreign doctors. The problem is worse yet because we are not training as many GP's as we used to. The College of Family Physicians of Canada in 2002 claimed a shortfall currently of 3000 such doctors, and by 2011 that shortfall is expected to rise to 6000.
 
tracy
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by CuriosityView Post

Prevention can only be accomplished if there is an overall agreement by the government and the people that it is in the best interests of the group - but you are dreaming if you think you can stop addiction through education of the medical profession. And who will decide about birth control for children? Their parents or the government?

I think you're reading something into my post that I didn't intend. I am not suggesting the government should tell us what to do or force us to quit smoking or force us to use a certain type of birth control or whatever. I'm saying it's in their best interest to help people to use preventative health measures (things like vaccinations) when they want to use them.
 
tracy
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

Wait lists are as you say generally caused by staff shortages, but they are also caused by a lack of equipment. We have many skilled doctors here in Canada who aren't cleared to work, despite having all the qualifications. Let them open up private clinics, it doesn't cost us anything to train them. People leave the public system to get care in the private system, now everyone behind that person is up one spot. We have many foreign trained doctors here who are going to leave and go elsewhere because Canada is limiting the positions availbale to foreign doctors. The problem is worse yet because we are not training as many GP's as we used to. The College of Family Physicians of Canada in 2002 claimed a shortfall currently of 3000 such doctors, and by 2011 that shortfall is expected to rise to 6000.

I've worked with a lot of those "fully qualified" foreign docs. They aren't fully qualified when they come here. They have to jump through a lot of hoops for a reason. I would love to see more residencies created for them, but I recognize that isn't easy to do. It takes a lot of support to guide a doctor through their residency to prepare them for independent practice in Canada.
 
Curiosity
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by tracyView Post

I have long complained about birth control not being covered. It's a lot cheaper to pay for me to have a shot every three months than a baby every two years... It especially annoys me that some provinces will pay for viagra but not birth control. Neither are medically necessary, but we cover one and not the other.

Tracy

I don't see how I could misunderstand your statement. You seem to think the government should be responsible for your lifestyle choices as well as unexpected disease or accident or injury.

You choose to have birth control in the form of injection. Alternately how would you like the government to tell all fertile women they had to have their three month 'shot' as a method of birth control, unless they chose another method or were planning to become pregnant. Where is the choice, disease or impairment in any of the situations?

Viagra is covered because in some cases erectile dysfunction is recognized as a disability. Some males cannot choose to be fully functional at will with this impairment.

Being fertile and having unprotected sex is not a disability, when prevention can be chosen.

Frankly I think birth control and male impotence drugs are great additions to modern society freeing both men and women from some very significant problems in their lives. I do however think the government
should not be responsible for our choices if we are of sound mind.

Inviting the government into our private bedrooms is like opening Pandora's Box.
 
#juan
#21
The nicotine patch my daughter is using is prescribed by her doctor. As a prescription drug, I think it should be fully, or partially covered depending on income like any other prescription drug. I posted the blurb below because I thought the information was useful.

A lot of young people get led into smoking by peer pressure and the addiction is just as real as an addiction to heroin. Twenty years ago a pack of cigarettes cost about a buck and a half. Now, at $8.50, one wonders how people can afford a two pack a day habit....about four hundred dollars a month..
  • The nicotine patch releases a constant amount of nicotine in the body. Unlike the nicotine in tobacco smoke which passes almost instantaneously into the blood through the lining of the lungs, the nicotine in the patch takes up to three hours to pass through the layers of skin and into the user's blood.
  • The patches are similar to adhesive bandages and are available in different shapes and sizes. A larger patch delivers more nicotine through the skin.
  • The patch must be worn all day, and cannot be put on and removed as a substitute for a cigarette. Most of the patch products are changed once every 24 hours. One particular patch is worn only during the waking hours and is removed during sleep.
  • Wearing the nicotine patch lessens chances of suffering from several of the major smoking withdrawal symptoms such as tenseness, irritability, drowsiness, and lack of concentration.
  • Some side effects from wearing the patch may include:3 (external - login to view)
    • skin irritation
    • dizziness
    • racing heartbeat
    • sleep problems
    • headache
    • nausea
    • vomiting, muscle aches and stiffness
  • Average retail price for over-the-counter transdermal nicotine patches (starter box) is approximately $4 a day.
 
TenPenny
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

Some things I ran accross yesterday. My daughter is trying to quit smoking and to that end she's using a nicotine patch. In the course of the conversation, I discovered that the nicotine patch is not covered under the medical system. My reaction was that somebody was making a wrong decision because smoking causes all kinds of serious problems like heat disease, lung cancer, high blood pressure, etc., and all kinds of sugery that is covered. Would we rather pay for a relatively cheap patch, or very expensive surgery. I also discovered that birth control pills are not covered. The thing is, that abortions are covered Does it seem to anyone else that these little inconsistancies will no doubt cost us money.

Drugs and medications are not covered by Medicare.
Procedures and doctors visits are.

That's all there is to it.
 
#juan
#23
TenPenny (external - login to view)

In B.C. we have Pharmacare which pays a part or all of the cost of drugs depending on your age or income. I thought all provinces had a similar thing.
 
tracy
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by CuriosityView Post

Tracy

I don't see how I could misunderstand your statement. You seem to think the government should be responsible for your lifestyle choices as well as unexpected disease or accident or injury.

You choose to have birth control in the form of injection. Alternately how would you like the government to tell all fertile women they had to have their three month 'shot' as a method of birth control, unless they chose another method or were planning to become pregnant. Where is the choice, disease or impairment in any of the situations?

Viagra is covered because in some cases erectile dysfunction is recognized as a disability. Some males cannot choose to be fully functional at will with this impairment.

Being fertile and having unprotected sex is not a disability, when prevention can be chosen.

Frankly I think birth control and male impotence drugs are great additions to modern society freeing both men and women from some very significant problems in their lives. I do however think the government
should not be responsible for our choices if we are of sound mind.

Inviting the government into our private bedrooms is like opening Pandora's Box.

I don't think the government should be responsible for my choices, or anyone else's for that matter. That's the part I think you got from my post that I don't intend. I just think it's common sense to recognize that prevention (which the government already helps with) is smart for them. Paying for birth control which is a part of sexual health is as smart as paying for vaccinations because it saves money. Obviously I have a decent job, so I can pay for it. For some women, it's a real stretch. I'd rather see them get cheap or free birth control than have another baby. When that happens, it doesn't matter whose fault it is, the baby is there. Or she could have an abortion which we pay for with our tax dollars.

Personal responsibility is another topic altogether. Public health doesn't focus on blame and never has anything to do with restricting choices. For instance, heroin users chose to use that drug (originally anyways) and it's illegal. That doesn't stop us from spending money on harm reduction (needle exchange, detox, methodone, etc), without forcing them into treatment. It doesn't matter to a health care worker that the heroin user is at fault. If it saves lives and money, the government will try to fund initiatives that will help out. The same is true of all preventative health care initiatives. A LOT of diseases are the result of bad personal choices and could have been prevented, but we still treat those people. That's why we encourage people to eat well, exercise, take care of themselves, we offer education on those topics to certain groups. We don't take away their right to eat cheetos and sit on their butts all day, we just educate them about other options. Never in my job have I taken away a person's right to control her own body. All health care workers are supposed to be patient advocates first and that means respecting a patient's decision.
 
TenPenny
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

TenPenny (external - login to view)

In B.C. we have Pharmacare which pays a part or all of the cost of drugs depending on your age or income. I thought all provinces had a similar thing.

Yes, as part of the low income / welfare system. Not part of the medicare system. It's simply a "benefit" available to some low income people, same as some working people get drug plans at work.
 
#juan
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPennyView Post

Yes, as part of the low income / welfare system. Not part of the medicare system. It's simply a "benefit" available to some low income people, same as some working people get drug plans at work.

A private citizen can pay for extended medical coverage from Blue Cross and they pay part of prescription drugs cost. My wife and I pay something like a hundred and twenty a month for extended medical and dental. After you reach 65 Pharmacare cuts in and pays more of that cost depending on income.
 

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