Is moving back to Canada and the improved quality of life worth living a shorter life?

This post crossed my stream today – ‘The face of health-care crisis’: Cancer patient calls out N.S. premier in viral video

This is what scares me most about moving back to Canada … the lack of access to Family Doctors is a huge issue – especially when the system is setup with the Family Doctor as the gatekeeper to access specialists … without a Family Doctor, healthcare becomes inaccessible.

Not that healthcare in the US is any better for most people – I’m just privileged at the moment. I am acutely aware that moving from a privileged position to one in which I am dependant on a broken system is scary.

I ask myself – is moving back to Canada and the improved quality of life worth living a shorter life? Does going back to Canada mean that I will die sooner because I will not have access to the healthcare I need? And yet, living here is no better. I am dependant on my husband’s job for healthcare.

I have huge privilege today, and yet I still feel vulnerable. I know that I can move back to Canada and access healthcare if I lose my healthcare here. I don’t have access to any of the social programs here – we having lived and worked in the US long enough to qualify for Medicaid or any other US social programs.

Moving – especially when changing countries – is not an easy process. There is a lot to learn about how to navigate the system. When I left Canada, I didn’t have cancer or celiac disease. I didn’t need the healthcare that I need now. I have no clue how to navigate the system there. Plus we are looking at moving to a province that we have only visited, but never lived in. But I also have this vision of life in Nova Scotia – one where I am closer to communities that I am culturally more attuned to. And I am left asking myself, is that worth the exchange of living a shorter life? Perhaps that isn’t a fair question. Perhaps it is a false choice. But it is what runs through my mind anytime I see a report like this one.

  • Becky

One Comment

  • This is an excellent and difficult question Rebecca.

    One of the most frustrating experiences for myself and my (mexican) wife during our 4 years living in Edmonton was this family doctor being the keymaster to specialists. It definitely affected us and is something that we don’t have here in México.

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