Selective health care?

I was under the impression that health care is generally free in Canada.

For example, we can now access a naloxone kit, free of charge, to prevent deaths because of opiod overdoses. We can also get flu vaccinations each year for all who want them. These are but two excellent examples of a great health care system. I applaud both of these programs, among countless others, which do a great deal to ensure the safety of our population.

However, I also have some concerns. Recently a meningococcal outbreak has been declared in our region, and people 15 – 19 years old have been encouraged to get vaccinated. I have two children. My 18 year old has been vaccinated. Yet, after visiting two separate pharmacies, I have been told that my 20 year old must order the vaccine and pay approximately $133 for it. Why? Will the disease recognize that a person is 20 and therefore move on to someone else? Is a 20 year old that much less likely to get the disease than someone only a few months younger? Hmmm.

As a second example, I have read that I have a one in three chance of getting shingles in my lifetime. So
does that mean that 33% of people will be affected by this disease? Yet the vaccination for shingles is
approximately $207. Why?

As a taxpayer, I understand the need for fiscal restraint. However, also as a taxpayer, I understand the
exhorbitant costs of hospital stays when they are necessary. In the examples above, would it not be
better to exercise preventative measures, which are already in place and should be readily available to all?

Joanne Gorjanc

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