It has been several months now since my second valve-replacement surgery at St. Boniface Hospital. I was released from hospital after a one-month stay, just prior to the U.S. presidential election. The feeling of gratitude I felt then stays with me still and I feel prompted to write this letter.
The care I received from staff was, without doubt, exceptional -- from the surgeon and the nurses to the endless technicians. But I also feel a tremendous amount of gratitude to our health-care system.
I had a previous medical condition from very early on, so had I been an American citizen, I doubt I would have been covered under any insurance plan. This second surgery would have completely bankrupted us, if the first one hadn't.
The nurse wheeled me out of the Asper Institute and I had not a care in the world other than healing. I didn't have to pay a cent, not one. I wondered if I shouldn't have been handed an invoice with all the costs itemized, one by one, and stamped "paid in full."
We need to be so very grateful here for a system that takes us all into account, rich or poor. Maybe it's time we paid a premium based on taxable income so we can continue this legacy and even improve on great health care.