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LETTER: Lengthy wait lists have ushered in private health care

'The health-care problem has been coming for a long time, COVID just gave it a little push.'

The private care (dual) health system is already here.

I am a senior, my left knee needs an operation. I cannot even get on the long waiting list. I have four friends my age in similar situations. Two endured a lengthy wait with years of pain but managed to get a public knee and hip replacement. One lied about the pain she suffered so she could be advanced on the list. I do not blame her.

Two other friends also endured years of pain but finally opted for private care, one in Toronto, the other is planning to go to Phoenix.

I am extremely disappointed in our governments. They should stop arguing about who is going to pay and start solving the problem. We know who is going to pay, it is us. 

The health-care problem has been coming for a long time, COVID just gave it a little push. We need to address the lack of health-care workers by encouraging their education, their retention, and through our immigration policies. We need to look at our facilities. We need to continue to improve our efficiencies. By the way, well done on the new comfortable patient seats in the ER. It takes up a lot less room and is even better for most care.

It is not even a matter of funds. My knee operation and that of my friends will cost about $28,000 per person, plus transportation and accommodations. According to Capital Health stats, similar public operations cost under $7,000 per person. Perhaps the government should consider a sliding scale for patient contribution. 

Keeping seniors active will save our health-care system in the long run.

Stay healthy. The alternative is worse than ever.

Wayne Richardson, St. Albert


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