Canadians lament their crumbling health-care system but the alternatives are far from clear

By Shachi Kurl, President

Sept. 16, 2022 – When I was in my 20s, I had this car. Japanese engine, so it started every single time. American body, so it never rusted. I called it the Frankencar. It was indestructible. I bought it from my mother, so it was on the road for 20 years. Boy, did I love it. I was so proud of its reliability, efficiency and longevity.

It didn’t matter when things started to deteriorate over time. Or that I was paying more to keep the vehicle on the road annually than its actual book value. The mechanics gently tried to explain that investing in new CV boot jacks was not the best use of money on my dear old car. When the alternator went, I happily shelled out. It was a point of pride to keep this little beater running.

When she finally gave up the ghost, coasting to a last stop in the middle of traffic one morning while I raced to cover a press conference (the premier had just resigned), I still wouldn’t accept it. I had it towed to the local garage where they told me the bill would be big. When I later relayed this news to the original owners, my folks, I gleefully told them I’d get the car vrooming again in no time.

“We’ve been telling you ‘buy a newer car’ for years!” my mother exploded. “You’re going to the dealership this weekend. That car is done. That’s final.” That hurt. But when she said it, I knew she was right.

Watching Canadians’ reactions to what’s happening with health care reminds me a lot of that old car, and my relationship with it. On one hand, we admit the system is falling apart before our eyes. On the other, we’re not ready for certain kinds of radical change.

Read more from the article in the Ottawa Citizen here.

Image – Graham Ruttan/Unsplash

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