Medications and pharmaceuticals that are often essential for treatment of diseases like cancer and diabetes (type I) aren't free under our medicare system. If we don't have an insurance plan with our job we have to pay ourselves... and our insurance doesn't cover everything. Last year my uncle was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly the drugs he needed to prolong his life are not covered under medicare. As a self employed fisherman, my uncle had no insurance and no means to cover thousands of dollars for medications.
Instead of being with his family and loved ones for longer, he passed away within months.
A few months ago, we had a special 'Coffee and Yoga' to chat about what Sustainable Healthcare means to us with the local representatives of Capital Health. It was very interesting and although didn't result in any real 'solutions', it truly was meant to begin the dialogue between a massive organizational beast (Capital Health) and the regular citizen shareholders.
The biggest message was that in order to have a sustainable healthcare system we need to take more preventative measures. The healthier our population the lower the cost on healthcare. The discussion had some nifty stats on disease, for instance 70% of cancers are preventable through lifestyle and diet. That's a whopper.
It seems foolish to invest only in a reactionary system as opposed to a preventative model.
It's difficult to see the end-picture and encourage government and shareholders to invest in programs that have negative effects: i.e. they work if people 'don't' get sick. It's difficult to measure- would that person have become a demand on the system if they didn't eat healthy?
local sustainably harvested blue mussels at the Blue Mussel Café in PEI -YUM
Locally caught haddock and local potatoes and veggies at Blue Mussel Café, best meal of the trip!
The trick is to make healthy eating, healthy physical lifestyle accessible to all. Lets be honest, healthy food (organic, sustainable, local) costs more than junk processed food. Eco-friendly products that are toxin and chemical free can be costly. Making your home sustainable can be costly (solar panels, geothermal heating, upcycled and sustainable building supplies).
Yoga classes are costly.
If we're going to be serious about a sustainable healthcare, making healthy food, chemical-light homes and clean air to breathe a priority is a nice place to start.
Many of these issues are larger than us to address. At the same time, we can all do small bits to help the whole. Calling your political representative and making your thoughts and views known. Start eating healthy and getting active yourself.
Give back to your yoga community and offer free, accessible (i.e. not during work-week hours) yoga classes.
What ideas do you have to make your health and healthcare system sustainable?
article copyright EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com