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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Canadian Health Care and Autism

The Canadian Medical Association has released a report highly critical of the country's health care system. This passage deals with autism:
A father with an autistic son said that the Canada Health Act does not constitute value for autistic patients because it does not ensure they receive the care they need. He talked about the fractured nature of services provided for autistic care across the country. “I’ve watched people lose their homes and sell everything they own to provide for their children,” he said, reiterating that the range of autistic care services across the country is “abysmal.” At the very least, he said, the need to agree on at least a diagnosis for children such as his son should be recognized.

He noted that care is not available for autistic children in Inuit families “and you can forget getting help. It does not exist for you. ... Our system must meet the basic needs of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged people.” He said there is a two-tiered system for care for autistic patients in Canada, with those in British Columbia, Alberta or Ontario having access to good programs that do not exist elsewhere in the country or in rural areas. “That’s just not right,” he said, adding that the federal government must provide some direction to resolve this issue.