People Who Cannot Afford a Visit to the ED
The Canada health care system is funded by the public. This is contrary to other health care systems that are government-funded. According to the Canada Health Act (1984) it is the right of each insured individual to receive insured services.
According to the Canadian health care plan, the average health care cost per an emergency room visit is estimated at over $1000 (Eaves, 2010). The Canadian emergency department charges a lot of money to the persons admitted. The insured individuals are lucky since the insurance can take care of these charges. However, the people without an insurance cover have to depend on their basic earnings in order to settle the bills. The cost of treatment is calculated based on the seriousness of the illness. The more serious an illness is, the more money one is expected to pay. With an insurance policy, many people are in a position of getting emergency attention than those without an insurance policy. The Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) is one such insurance body that gives the Canadian citizens the right to have a health card that would be effective in case of an emergency (Ministry Programs, 2011). However, the less fortunate cannot have access to this policy and they are therefore left out in cases of emergency. In addition, the specifications of having an individual spend certain days before being eligible for the card segregates some people who may be on a short visit to the country.
The insurance policies make the individuals more secure and enhance their chances of being attended to in a timely manner in hospitals. The prices are also reduced with the presence of an insurance document. This means that the emergency department and services are mostly offered to those individuals with pre-determined insurance policies. Therefore, there is a very large social difference between the poor and the rich, which is well illustrated in the gap created during the access to emergency department and services (Blank, 2011).
There are many social implications that result when some people fail to access the emergency department. The failure may be triggered by either the lack of insurance services or the failure by the individual to access an emergency department in a timely manner. To begin with, emergency services are strategically positioned across all regions in Canada. However, some individuals may feel compelled to seek for an alternative health care facility and services from other areas. Thus, this increases the gap for an emergency department service access and this brings about the social and psychological implications to a patient. The failure to access an emergency department not only affects the patient, but also the family and friends of the affected.
To begin with, the Canadian health care system is determined by the amount of money one has. For this reason, most of the individuals in Canada opt to seek for specialized treatment in America and this leaves the poor with no options but to wait relentlessly in Canadian hospitals’ queues (Eaves, 2010). This creates a social gap among the Canadian citizens. The social gap that is established based on wealth status of individuals causes many people to feel left out by the government.
The ability by some few Canadians to afford specialized emergency care in other countries increases the social disintegration between the rich and the poor (Blank, 2011). Many people feel that their fundamental rights to access an emergency department have been toppled due to the fact that many of the individuals who operate the public hospitals also work under the private sectors. There is therefore a huge deficit in the number of health officials
The real issues affecting the citizens in a country are often overlooked through the implementation of certain policies that do not necessarily address the problems. Addressing health insurance policies without considering the unemployment issue is a deviation from reality. The introduction of the Canadian health policy was focused on improving the overall health assurance for the Canadian citizens but the whole concept overlooked the issue associated with insurance, employment and stable income (Blank, 2011). If citizens had a stable income, they would easily pay their health insurance bills. In other words, this was an issue that was more of unemployment rather than insurance. Since the public policy process is formulated by the governments to address certain issues affecting its citizens, the government should be careful not to address the wrong issues. Although these policies vary depending on the issue being addressed, formulating imprecise guidelines in a bid to help the citizens hardly delivers the expected results (Blank, 2011). Whether the policy formulation process deals with environmental or political policies, it should address the real issues behind the problems.
Functionalism is a theoretical perception that can find application in the Canadian health care system. One of the parameters in the theory is on the application of scientific principles to social needs and the second one is in the application of the similarities or analogy between society and organisms. The Canadian people feel that their fundamental rights are denied through privatising the doctors and health care individuals (Palepu, Strathdee, Hogg, & Anis, 1999). This leaves the common man under the responsibility of subordinate staffs in the hospitals. Through the application of the scientific methods, the social world is addressed in the same manner as in the physical world. From the two versions of functionalism, the psychological definition states that individual organisms possess individual needs and that the present social bodies are there to fulfil these needs. This is exactly a reflection of the Canadian health policy. Structural functionalism defines the society as a system that is self-regulating by an action of cybernetic feedback. The main difference between these two versions is that in the psychological definitions individuals play the greatest role while the structural definition renders the individuals irrelevant within the society.
Despite the differences in definitions, both versions of functionalism consider society as a structured unit with various subdivisions that hold each other and hence stabilizing the whole system. Despite the presence of internal conflicts, the availability of institutions to cater for individual needs forms a stable network between the society and the existing organisms. From these definitions, culture is developed and it is defined as being the founding structures of institutions. The problem though is that Canada does not respect the aforementioned social structures.
Social learning theory deals with the observations and modelling of behaviours and other individual characteristics within the society. Other that emphasizing on behaviourism, social learning theory also encompasses cognitive development and hence acquiring other terms like social cognitive theory (Hayes, & Orrell, 1998). The theory mostly addresses the interactions between the cognitive factors and the environment and illustrates how these two influences the behaviour and learning characteristics in human beings. Canadian health care system has enabled the citizens to comprehensively study the social implications of these health issues and understand their effects to emergency cases.
Privatization of health workers affects the overall health care system in Canada. The other important element in modelling is retention. Since humans mostly learn through observation and imitation, retaining the observed and the learnt issues determines the learning rate and understanding of social issues. This is the act of reproducing the observed and the learnt information and images either through mental or physical means. By doing this, all the information is retained and set for reproduction in the course of other social activities. By having self-motivation, individuals in a society learn faster and imitate the observed behaviours better than those lacking motivation (Palepu, Strathdee, Hogg, & Anis, 1999).
Anti-discriminatory practice analyzes the relationship between social oppression and human behaviour development and transitions. From the above context, any complexity or problem in an individual should be addressed by positioning the person with social need within their social and physical environments irrespective of the available interventions (Marsh 2005). This would ensure that the troubled individuals feel appreciated and hence reduce the feeling of segregation and biasness.
The Canadian health care system has been marred by many problems in the past years. The citizens have been feeling segregated due to their financial stability. This is because the doctors and other health practitioners have embarked on private businesses other than attending to the Canadian citizens, and especially those in need of emergency care.
The insurance policies make the rich individuals more secure and enhance their chances of being timely attended to in the hospitals. The less fortunate citizens have to battle their emergency cases in long queues as they wait for any medical attention. The prices are also reduced with the presence of an insurance document. This means that the emergency department and services are mostly offered to those individuals with pre-determined insurance policies. There is therefore a very large social difference between the poor and the rich is well illustrated in the gap created during the access to department and services.
The ability by some few Canadians to afford specialized emergency care in other countries has influenced the social disintegration between the rich and the poor (Blank, 2011). Many people feel that their fundamental rights to access an emergency department have been toppled due to the fact that many of the individuals who operate the public hospitals also work under the private sectors. There is therefore a huge deficit in the number of health officials
Through these policies, the Canadian government has affected the quality of the emergency services since it has been taken as being mandated for the rich only (Palepu, Strathdee, Hogg, & Anis, 1999). This aspect causes many of the Canadian citizens to feel left out especially since the health facilities in Canada are purely funded by the public. The perception of the health facilities being only for the rich has influenced many people to opt for emergency home care other than seeking for the specialized assistance in the health facilities.
In conclusion, emergency services are strategically positioned across all regions in Canada. However, some individuals may feel compelled to seek for an alternative health care facility and services from other areas. This thus increases the gap for an emergency department service access and this brings about the social and psychological implications to a patient. The failure to access an emergency department not only affects the patient, but also the family and friends of the affected. Social disintegration is influenced within the country since many individuals feel left out when they spend most of their time in queues. This happens when the rich can afford specialized care in other countries.
Blank, C. (2011). Medical Care for Those Who Cannot Afford to Pay. Retrieved from, http://www.ehow.com/info_7857145_medical-those-cannot-afford-pay.html
Canada Health Act, 1984. c. 1.
Eaves, D. (2010). Canada’s Three Tiered Healthcare System. Retrieved from, http://eaves.ca/2010/02/23/canadas-three-tiered-healthcare-system/
Hayes, N & Orrell, S. (1998). Psychology, an Introduction. Harlow, UK: Longman Group.
Marsh, I (2005). Sociology, Making sense of society. Harlow, UK: Pearson Educational Limited.
Ministry programs. (2011). Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Retrieved from http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ohip/
Palepu, A., Strathdee, S. A., Hogg, R. S., & Anis, A. H. (1999).The social determinants of emergency department and hospital use by injection drug users in Canada. Journal of Urban Health 76 (4), 409-418.