Provincial funding for various health conditions regularly crops up as an issue. That’s not surprising, considering the many illnesses that require continuing treatment – often at a cost the average person can’t afford.
Affordable or not, there’s no option but to go ahead with it if the person wants to avoid more serious problems.
In Pictou County this question has arisen in the case of insulin pumps, in particular for young people. A recent campaign saw many in the community pitch in to help a 10-year-old girl with the purchase, raising more than $7,500.
The effort was a heartwarming story, but it prompted some to ask why Nova Scotia doesn’t fund insulin pumps. In Wednesday’s paper, The News featured the campaign of New Glasgow resident Tammy MacLaren who has an online petition she hopes will convince legislators to support such funding.
An interesting point MacLaren makes is that handling such a health problem with the best treatment available saves money in the long run – not difficult to fathom since any inadequately treated condition can lead to worse health problems.
Thus, funding should be in the government’s interests – and the taxpayers’. The rub there, however, is that savings show up in the future, and governments tend to focus on budgeting costs year by year – making many decisions short-sighted.
As we’ve seen recently regarding coverage to treat certain cancers or costly procedures for macular degeneration, many health conditions could crop up with people calling for public funding. There’s no easy answer to which diseases we include.
In the case of insulin pumps, most other provinces currently have funding. We have to keep that in mind. In addition, without sounding overly optimistic, provinces are currently working more together on pharmaceutical and other health purchases to lower costs. We might hope to see more uniformity in what’s offered across Canada on many of these health aids and drugs, along with reduced costs.