Letters: Could be worse

Letter to the editor from within the Sooke community.

I couldn’t help but notice the article on the front page of the March 18, 2015, Mirror.

I feel bad for the couple that experienced this horror in Mexico. However, I continuously experience this same horror right here in Sooke; right here in Canada. You see, there is a major loophole in the healthcare system for people like me. I grew up in Canada, Edmonton and graduated High School in Nanaimo in 1987. I was born in America and I was a legal Canadian Permanent Resident from the age of 5 to 17.

I departed Canada and went back to the United States for a career in the United States Coast Guard. I have retired from that career and decided to come back to Canada.

I have lived in Canada for about 3.5 years and I am waiting for the Canadian Customs and Immigration to approve my Permanent Resident status. You’d think that since I had this status in the past; I’d be able to get it again quickly. This is not true. I am just one in a million nobodies waiting in line even though I have a Canadian Social Insurance Number and even though I have worked in Canada as a high school teenager.

Because I am waiting for this status, I cannot get medical coverage in this country. I cannot get MSP or any other type of medical coverage even if i pay for it. Have I had any type of medical emergencies since I have been here? Yes I have. Each time I take the ambulance it costs me $550. I believe I have over $2000 in just ambulance costs in the last 2.5 years or so.

I also have about $8000 in medical costs because of ambulatory emergencies and Doctor visits. I just fractured my toe and I can barely walk but I don’t want to get it looked at because it will cost me another $1000 or so. I also need Physiotherapy for a near fatal wrist wound but, again, the costs are prohibitive.

I live in Sooke and I have lived in Metchosin and Bear Mountain since I have been here. I have paid all of the same taxes that you pay when I make purchases. However, I am not allowed to purchase health insurance for $68/month. I think this is a huge black eye for Canada and it’s “wonderful” healthcare system. I want to live in Canada and I love living in Sooke. I am a volunteer in the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue and I don’t want to leave Sooke, but because of the prohibitive costs of healthcare, I am ready to leave this country and go back to America where there is no shortage of Doctors and I don’t have to wait in line for specialty care, X-Rays, or MRI’s

Dana Bernard, Sooke