Thursday, October 29, 2009

Canada’s Swine Flu Fiasco

What’s wrong with healthcare these days?

The news media – seriously!

No wonder American’s against U.S. President Barack Obama’s creation of a publicly accessible, universal, government-run healthcare system point to Canada when they make their outrageous claims.

With all the hype in the Canadian news media (and probably the American and other international news outfits), people are rushing free H1N1 Swine Flu shot clinics, as well as the regular flu clinics. At some clinics in Ontario, which just opened yesterday, the line-ups are estimated to

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 06: Doses of H1N1 influenza ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

be over four-hours long! Some people even camped out hours before the healthcare workers arrived to open the clinic.

Americans see these long line-ups, and hear the horror stories about the goofballs turned away from the flu shot clinic – the free flu shot clinic was for high-risk senior citizens only, and the man turned away on the news clearly wasn’t over 65 – judging from his behavior he may have a long way to go before hitting puberty!

No wonder Americans think the Canadian healthcare system is worse than their system – even though America is the only industrialized nation on the

NARITA, JAPAN - APRIL 29:  Passengers come out...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

planet that does NOT have some form of universal healthcare for its citizens.

Although the Canadian healthcare system is far from perfect – it is far better than most. The biggest problem with our Canadian healthcare system isn’t the nurses, doctors and other practitioners working long hours – some as long as 12-hour shifts – the problem is government mismanagement from the earliest stages of a project.

The reason the line-ups for the H1N1 Swine Flu are so long and why they have limited the regular flu shot to just those in high risk groups is because they were slow to get off their over-paid butts and plan ahead.

Canada is one of the last of the industrialized nations to begin a vaccination program for the H1N1 Swine Flu, and the regular flu shot.

Ever since I can remember – at least the past decade – I’ve always got my free flu shot in late September, usually the last week of September to be exact.

This year, the regular flu vaccine wasn’t available until this week and we’re almost into November. Rumors were circulating about the H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine not being available here until November 2 – they opened up some clinics ahead of schedule.

The H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine has been available for almost a month in most of Europe – so how come Canada took so long?

Even in the only country on the planet without a government-run universal healthcare system – The States, the H1N1 Vaccine has been out well ahead of Canada’s inoculation campaign.

The federal government in Canada dropped the ball big time on this one. Yes, they did their due diligence to make sure it was safe for public consumption, but they jeopardized that public’s health and well being, by not having planned for the implementation of these vaccines.

Because of these delays, people are becoming infected with H1N1 Swine Flu, and in some instances ending up in the hospital for severe illness.

School boards in Ontario are reporting as many as 10 percent of their pupils absent due to the flu – which flu that is, and whether or not they are legitimately sick hasn’t been verified.

Though the media hype is focusing on the few teenagers who have died from the illness, which is understandable, as it is rare for healthy kids to die from the flu.
Last week, a 15-year-old passed away from complications from H1N1 Swine Flu, and this week a 13-year-old has died from the virus.

As the news media focuses on these deaths, and interview teary-eyed parents mourning the passing of their kids, parents scramble with their kids in tow. The country’s largest children’s hospital, The Hospital for Sick Children in To

ronto had to call nurses in from other floors and some who were not scheduled to work, just to handle the flood of parents and children storming their hospital, hoping to get their kids vaccinated. The children’s hospital in the nation’s capital, Ottawa, also reportedly had to call in reinforcements to deal with an onslaught of parents and their kids.

The problem medical experts are telling us, is that children haven’t fought off as many flu attacks as older people, so they don’t have as strong anti-bodies as those of us who have gone through the flu several times.

This is also a case to encourage parents to stop giving into antibiotics for every cold their kids get – sure they get better faster, but they don’t have the opportunity to develop their own resistance and their immune systems do not develop their full potential.

When the media isn’t focusing on young people dying from the H1N1 Swine Flu, they swamp us with stories about gigantic crowds of people, waiting hours for their free H1N1 Swine Flu shot, making those of us who haven’t yet had time to take off work to go and get the shot, wonder if we will even be able to get it?
Who can take off four-hours from work?

At one H1N1 Swine Flu vaccination clinic, people were lined up around the outside of the building and for several blocks, some claiming to have been in line for over four-hours.

There are always line-ups at flu shot clinics – but these excessively long ones need not have happened in the first place.

Thank your federal government Canada, for mismanaging the seasonal and H1N1 flu clinics to the point of disarray.

There is no reason why one of the most prosperous industrialized nations, with one of the best healthcare systems on Earth has people lining the streets for hours, waiting for a flu shot.

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