Unfortunately, the term 'universal health care' is probably a bit inappropriate to describe the Canadian system. Don't get me wrong, though, like any other self-respecting Canadian, I hold dear our health care system, and would love to see it fixed.

For example, in British Columbia (where I reside), the only thing which is covered under the health care system are doctor's appointments (excluding optometrists, dentists, chiropractors, and probably any other medical clinic that isn't a 'generic' doctor's office or hospital). That means I'm left to my own devices when it comes to having my teeth or eyes looked after. This means getting health insurance through a company such as the Blue Cross, however, I was recently rejected for medical insurance due to a strange entry in my medical file that an old school counsellor put there. The document said that I was suicidal. (No, I've never been suicidal -- their reasoning was that since I preferred to be on my computer instead of in class, I must've had problems, heh. The document as filed was complete heresy and wasn't backed up with any medical facts).

Therefore, I am now paying out of pocket to get my dental and optometry work done. I don't know about you, but that sounds damned close to two-tiered health care to me. In fact, when the Canadaian federal election campaign was still going on, I recall a candidate stating that Canada actually has a ten-tiered health care system, since each Province has its own boundaries and laws in terms of what's really covered under the Health Act or not.

Not only that, but I still need to pay out anywhere from $50 to $100 to the British Columbia Provincial Government every month for my basic medical services.

I'm sorry, I strive for the Canadian dream of a perfect universal health care system, too, however, I think (at the moment) we're far from it.

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