Talk, talk, talk; about colonoscopies. Get screened for early detection, it can save thousands of lives annually. This is what we hear. Why are there so many ads and so much talk about it on the media and medical talk shows; only to reneg on the service? I just don’t get it anymore. For years, doctors and ‘government’ sponsored commercials have been advocating to get screened, only to turn around and now limit the program.
Earlier this week, I took my husband for his every three-year doctor ordered colonoscopy because he is one of those people who is pre-disposed to polyps. When he was done, I had a great chat with his gastroenterologist. Initially we were chatting about my husband’s results but as I posed some questions, eventually we got on the ‘hot topic’ of government cutbacks.
The doctor informed me that our Canadian O.H.I.P. system had made, yet, more cutbacks. He told me that the province would no longer be covering the cost of colonoscopies as regular screening. There now has to be a multitude of reasons for it, with a multitude of stipulations.
Apparently, the average citizen can now only get screened every TEN years and only after age of fifty, paid by the province. He actually printed me a copy of the new guidelines – two pages full of stipulations for exceptions. Examples are: if you have a first degree relative who had colon cancer, or if you have two second degree relatives with it, you don’t have to pay if you are over fifty or ten years younger than the earliest age of diagnosis of the affected first degree relative. The doctor told me that in the hereditary instances, in most cases, fifty is too late; it should be forty. He said if a person already has symptoms, in many cases the prognosis isn’t good.
The list goes on and on with different allowances for previous findings of polyps, which had to have been within a certain measurement, and how many, etc. “Lucky” people like me who suffers from Crohn’s disease, and colitis sufferers alike, are permitted every three years. If you are over aged seventy-five, no more coverage.
Let me just preface it by saying, some people are hesitant to get screened in the first place. I don’t believe by adding a cost to it, it will encourage more people to do it.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. With all the medical urging for screening for early detection, we are now going backwards. Colon cancer KILLS. By catching it early it is almost always curable. By waiting for symptoms to occur, it is in most cases; too late.
The cutbacks continue in our health care system. What boggles my mind is: by making these cutbacks, it invites colon cancer to become a higher statistic. Wouldn’t this cause the province more in cancer treatments? Or is the plan perhaps; to hope more people die to cut over-population?
Just something to think about. Things that make you ahhhh.