Transcript: Show #1 | Sep 26, 2000

The title of the show appears: "Your Health." Clips of the episode are displayed behind the title sequence.

Maureen narrates THIS WEEK...

A clip shows a forty-year old woman with short, red hair and glasses.

She says I HAD QUITE A BIT OF
DROOPING, A LOT OF WEAKNESS
AND TINGLING IN MY LEFT
HAPPENED SIDE, A LOT OF
WEAKNESS IN MY LEFTLEG.

A clip shows a black sign that reads "Emergency."

Maureen narrates KNOWING THE
SIGNS OF A STROKE COULD SAVE
YOUR LIFE.

A clip shows a woman in her fifties sitting in the studio. The screen behind her reads "Your Health." The woman has short, brown hair, and is wearing a brown suit with a white shirt.

She says IT’S FAR MORE EXPENSIVE TO
RELY ON PRIVATE INSURANCE
THAN IT IS ON OUR PUBLIC
HEALTH PLAN.

A clip shows a baby being checked by a stethoscope.

Maureen narrates HEALTH INSURANCE.
IS YOUR FAMILY COVERED?

A clips shows a clean-shaven fifty-year old man wearing a black suit, standing behind a table full of herbs.

He says SOME REFER TO THIS PLAN
AS NATURE'S PROZAC.

Maureen narrates AND JOE SCHWARTCZ ON
St. JOHN'S WORT.

A clip shows a small, brown bottle with a yellow label that reads "St. John’s Wart." A long, grey pill sits in front of the bottle.

(music plays)
The opening sequence begins.

Clips of different people flash against a grey background. A 30-year-old woman with shoulder length black hair looks through a microscope, a 30-year-old with very short black hair holds up her 1-year-old son, a pharmacist counts and organizes red-and-yellow pills, a surgeon cuts into the abdomen of a patient and, finally, a man wearing a ted tank-top lifts weights. An animated microscope, pill bottle, syringe, and small dumbbell fly around the screen.

The title appears: "Your Health."

Maureen stands in a wood-paneled studio with t.v. screens embedded in the walls. She is in her forties, has short, side-parted, curly brown hair in a bob, and wears red lipstick, a pink suit, and a pearl necklace.

Maureen says HELLO, I'M MAUREEN TAYLOR,
FOR SOME REASON PEOPLE WAIT
HOURS BEFORE GETTING HELP
FOR A STROKE.
THAT'S BECAUSE THEY OFTEN
THINK THE SYMPTOMS ARE
SOMETHING ELSE LIKE THE FLU.
AND THAT THE DISCOMFORT WILL
GO AWAY ON ITS OWN.

A TV screen behind her shows a drawing of a brain.

Maureen continues
A RECENT STUDY BY THE HEART
AND STROKE FOUNDATION FOUND
THAT LESS THAN 40 PERCENT OF
CANADIANS CAN NAME ONE OR
MORE WARNING SIGNS OF
STROKE.
THE FACT IS THE LONGER YOU
WAIT, THE GREATER THE
DAMAGE.
IT'S A LESSON SUSAN
BIRKENSHAW LEARNED THE HARD
WAY.

Now, the scene changes to Susan sitting down in her living room reading. Her dog sits next to her. She is in her forties with short, red hair. Susan wears glasses, black pants, and a white-and-blue striped shirt.

Susan Birkenshaw narrates I WAS SITTING AT A TABLE
AND I LEANED OVER TO PET MY
DOG, TO SAY HELLO TO A DOG.
AND I ACTUALLY FELL OVER AND
I LOST MY BALANCE FROM THE
CHAIR.
AND WHEN I CAME UP FROM THAT,
I REALIZED THAT I COULDN'T
EXPRESS MYSELF ANY MORE.
HI LOST THE ABILITY TO
CONNECT MY BRAIN FORMED THE
WORDS BUT MY TONGUE
WOULDN'T.

The scene changes to Susan sitting in front of a table full of glassware. She now wears a blue blouse.

Susan continues
IT FELT LIKE I HAD AN
ELASTIC WRAPPED AROUND MY
TONGUE.

The scene switches to Susan’s husband sitting at a wooden table. Drawings of trees and birds adorn the walls behind him. He is in his fifties, clean-shaven with short, graying blond hair. He wears glasses and a grey button down.

He says I WAS OUT OF TOWN.
I WAS WORKING IN OTTAWA AND
HAD CALLED HER IN THE
EVENING JUST TO BASICALLY
SAY GOOD NIGHT.
AND THERE WAS SLIGHT
SLURRING IN HER SPEECH.
AND I DIDN'T THINK ANYTHING
ABOUT IT THAT MOMENT WHILE I
WAS ON THE PHONE.

The scene switches to Susan. A caption reads "Susan Birkenshaw. Stroke survivor."

Susan says I COULDN'T ARTICULATE
WHAT I WAS FEELING.
MY FEARS, MY PHYSICALLY
WHATEVER, I COULDN'T... SO I
DIDN'T.
SO I JUST STOPPED TALKING
AND WENT TO BED.

The scene switches to Susan’s husband. A caption reads "Michael Keith. Susan’s husband."

Michael says I THOUGHT ABOUT IT WHEN I
WAS IN BED.
AND... BUT I DIDN'T PHONE
BACK.
I DIDN'T PHONE BACK.
AND I WISH I HAD NOW.

Susan says I HAD QUITE A BIT OF
DROOPING... DROOPING IN MY
FACE.
I HAD A LOT OF WEAKNESS AND
TINGLING IN MY LEFT-HAND
SIDE, A LOT OF WEAKNESS IN
MY LEFT LEG.

Michael says THE NEXT MORNING SUSAN
CALLED ME EARLIER THAN
NORMAL AND IT WAS, OH, MY
RECOLLECTION IS SORT OF
SOMETIME BETWEEN 5:00 AND
6:00 IN THE MORNING.
AND QUITE FRANKLY I DIDN'T
RECOGNIZE WHO IT WAS ON THE
PHONE CALLING ME.
I COULD NOT UNDERSTAND WHO
WAS TALKING TO ME.
WHEN I FINALLY FIGURED OUT
THAT IT WAS SUSAN, AND I
COULD UNDERSTAND THE TIME
SHE WAS STAYING WITH HER
MOTHER AND FATHER, AND I
SAID GO GET YOUR DAD UP AND
GO TO THE HOSPITAL NOW.
I THINK YOU HAVE HAD OR
HAVING A STROKE.

A black slate appears on the screen. It reads "Recognize the signs of stroke when you see them." A list of symptoms flashes on the screen. They read, "Vision problems, headache, weakness, trouble speaking, dizziness."

A woman’s voice narrates THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF ANY
OF THESE SYMPTOM COULD MEAN
ARE YOU HAVING A STROKE.
GET MEDICAL ATTENTION
IMMEDIATELY.

All of the symptoms appear on the screen. The word SUDDEN is stamped over them.

The woman continues
A MESSAGE FROM THE HEART AND
STROKE FOUNDATION.

A logo of a red heart with a white maple leaf and black candle flashes on the screen.

The scene changes to a doctor sitting in a room full of pamphlets. He is in his fifties with fluffy black hair. He wears a doctor’s coat, white shirt, and blue tie.

He says THE COMMONEST SYMPTOM OF
THE STROKE WOULD BE SUDDEN
WEAKNESS OR PARALYSIS.

Now, the word WEAKNESS flashes on the screen.

A caption reads "Dr. Frank Silver. Neurologist."

Dr. Frank Silver says ANOTHER COMMON SYMPTOM WOULD
BE A VISION LOSS, IT IS
EITHER LOSS OF VISION IN ONE
EYE LIKE A BLIND COPPING
DOWN WHERE YOU CAN'T SEE
OVER YOUR EYE OR A FIELD
LOSS WHERE SUDDENLY YOU
CAN'T SEE ONE HALF OF THE
WORLD.
AND IF YOU LOOK STRAIGHT
AHEAD IT SEEMS LIKE
EVERYTHING TO ONE SIDE IS
MISSING.

Now, the words VISION PROBLEMS flash on the screen.

Dr. Frank Silver continues
ANOTHER IMPORTANT SYMPTOM
WOULD BE SPEECH DIFFICULTY.
IT IS EITHER SLURRING OF
SPEECH OR DIFFICULTY
ACTUALLY PRODUCING SPEECH,
WHERE THE WORDS DON'T COME
OUT OR THE WORDS COME OUT
MIXED UP.

Now, the words TROUBLE SPEAKING flash on the screen.

Dr. Frank Silver continues
ISOLATED DIZZINESS IS NOT AS
IMPORTANT AS DIZZINESS THAT
IS... PRODUCES A SYMPTOM OF
MOVEMENT WHERE THINGS START
TO MOVE OR SPIN AND
ESPECIALLY IF IT IS
ASSOCIATED WITH UNSTEADINESS
OF GAIT, SLURRING OF SPEECH
AND DOUBLE VISION.
THAT OFTEN COMES AS A
PACKAGE.

Now, the word DIZZINESS flashes on the screen.

Dr. Frank Silver continues
ANY TIME YOU HAVE A HEADACHE
THAT IS EXPLOSIVE IN NATURE
OR VERY SEVERE THAT'S A
HEADACHE THAT YOU DON'T FOOL
AROUND WITH, YOU GET TO
HOSPITAL RIGHT AWAY.

The scene changes to a female doctor with a blond bob examining a woman of the same age and with a brown bob haircut.

A caption reads "Dr. Moira Kapral. Internish."

She appears in an office full of books

Dr. Moira Kapral says MANY WOMEN DON'T BELIEVE
THEY ARE AT RISK OF HAVING A
STROKE AND MANY STUDIES HAVE
BEEN DONE SHOWING THAT WOMEN
BELIEVE THEY ARE AT HIGH
RISK OF BREAST CANCER AND
WORRY ABOUT IT AND HAVE
LEARNED HOW TO DO BREAST
EXAMINATION AND SCREEN FOR
IT.
BUT ARE NOT AT ALL AWARE OF
THE RISKS OF STROKE.
AND WOMEN ARE AT MUCH HIGHER
RISK OF HAVING A STROKE AND
DYING FROM A STROKE THAN
CANCER OR BREAST CANCER.

The scene changes to Dr. Frank Silver examining and elderly male patient.

He takes the patient’s hand and says I WANT YOU TO REACH OUT
AND TOUCH MY FINGER AND THEN
TOUCH YOUR NOSE WITH THE
SINGER HERE.

Dr. Frank Silver narrates OFTEN PEOPLE THINK OF
STROKE AS I DISEASE OF THE
ELDERLY.
AND THEREFORE THEY DON'T
WORRY ABOUT IT.
THEY SAY WELL I'M ONLY 40,
WHY SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT
STROKE.
THIS IS SOMETHING THAT ONLY
MY GRANDPARENTS HAVE TO
WORRY ABOUT.
BUT IN FACT STROKE IS A
PROBLEM FOR ALL AGES.

Back in the office, Dr. Moira says STROKES CAN CAUSE SEVERE
PERMANENT DAMAGE INCLUDING
PARALYSIS, DIFFICULTY
WALKING, DOING ANY
ACTIVITIES THAT YOU WOULD
NORMALLY WANT TO DO IN DAILY
LIFE, EATING, BATHING,
SPEAKING.
IN THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO
STROKES CAN BE FATAL.

Dr. Frank Silver says DEATH IS NOT WHAT PATIENTS
AND PHYSICIANS USUALLY WORRY
ABOUT THE MOST.
WHAT THEY WORRY ABOUT IS THE
DISABILITY.
AND ABOUT 60 PERCENT OF PATIENTS
ARE LEFT WITH SOME
DISABILITY.
ABOUT 15 PERCENT OF PATIENTS ARE
LEFT SO DISABLED THAT THEY
END UP INSTITUTIONALIZED FOR
THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

The scene changes to Susan writing a letter at the table.

Susan narrates WHAT I HAD TO DO IS LEARN
HOW TO SMILE AND LEARN HOW
TO... LEARN HOW TO DO ALL OF
THOSE KINDS OF THINGS.
AND ALSO HAD TO SPEND A LOT
OF TIME RECREATING MY SPEECH.
FROM THE BEGINNING OF MY
HOSPITAL STAY I WAS WORKING
WITH A SPEECH PATHOLOGIST
AND THERAPIST TO LEARN
WHAT I WAS IDENTIFYING OR
NOT.

Michael Keith says WOULD THERE HAVE BEEN
OTHER MEDICAL TREATMENTS
THEY COULD HAVE DONE, YOU
KNOW, THIS NEW DRUG THAT IS
OUT THAT HAS TO BE
ADMINISTERED WITHIN THREE
HOURS OF WHEN YOU HAVE THE
FIRST SIGNS OF A STROKE.
WOULD THAT HAVE MADE A
SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE.
AND MAYBE IT WOULD HAVE
LESSENED THE ULTIMATE IMPACT
OF THE STROKE.

Clips show an MRI machine and an image of a brain scan.

The scene changes to Dr. Frank in his office. A caption reads "Dr. Frank Silver. University Health Network."

Dr. Frank says THE BRAIN REALLY DOESN'T
HAVE MUCH CAPABILITY OF
RECOVERING ONCE IT’S PERMANENTLY DAMAGED.
WE NOW HAVE STRATEGIES THAT IF WE GET TO A
PATIENT EARLY ENOUGH AND IN
CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES NOT IN
ALL STROKES BUT IN CERTAIN
TYPES OF STROKES, WE CAN GO
IN AND GIVE A TYPE OF A
RESCUE DRUG THAT WILL
DISSOLVE A CLOT, ALLOW THE
BLOOD SUPPLY TO BE RESTORED
AND THEREFORE SALVAGE THE
TISSUE THAT WAS SHORTCHANGED
ITS BLOOD SUPPLY.

Clips flash of Dr. Frank handling bottles of medicine and examining the elderly patient.

Dr. Frank narrates
IF THE BLOOD SUPPLY CAN BE
RESTORED QUICKLY ENOUGH, THE
DAMAGE THAT WILL RESULT WILL
BE MINIMAL.
IF THE BLOOD SUPPLY IS CUT
OFF PERMANENTLY OR OVER TOO
LONG A PERIOD OF TIME THAN
THE DAMAGE BECOMES PERMANENT
AND NO MATTER WHAT WE DO AT
A LATER STAGE IS NOT GOING
TO HELP THAT BRAIN RECOVER.

Back in the office, Dr. Moira says THE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS
FOR PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT OUR
RISK FACTORS THAT THEY CAN
ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT.
SO ONE OF THE MAIN ONES IS
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.

A caption reads "Dr. Moira Kapral. University Health Network."

A clip shows the arm of a patient who is getting their blood pressure taken.

Dr. Frank narrates ALSO MANAGING DIABETES,
HIGH CHOLESTEROL, QUITTING
CIGARETTE SMOKING, A HEALTHY
LIFESTYLE INCLUDE DIET,
EXERCISE, ALL THESE THINGS
HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO BE
BENEFICIAL IN MAKING SURE
YOU NEVER HAVE A STROKE.

Fast clips show cigarettes being put out in an ashtray and people exercising in a gym.

Dr. Frank continues
WHAT IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT,
THOUGH, IS FOR THE PATIENT
THAT HAS ALREADY HAD A MINOR
STROKE OR WHAT WE CALL A
BRAIN ATTACK OR T.I.A., A
TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACK.
ONCE YOU'VE HAD THAT IT
MEANS THAT YOU HAVE GOT THE
UNDERLYING PROCESSES THAT
ARE GOING TO LEAD TO ANOTHER
STROKE UNLESS ARE YOU VERY
CAREFUL.

Dr. Moira says T.I.A.s ARE AN EXTREMELY
IMPORTANT RISK FACTOR FOR
STROKE.
WE KNOW APPROXIMATELY 10 PERCENT OF
PEOPLE WHO HAVE A TIA WILL
GO ON TO HAVE A STROKE.

Dr. Frank says THE AVERAGE BRAIN ATTACK
LASTS FOR 10 MINUTES.
AND OF COURSE THERE IS THAT
SENSE OF RELIEF, YOU KNOW,
EVEN IF YOU COULDN'T SEE OUT
OF LET'S SAY THE RIGHT EYE
FOR 10 MINUTES OR COULDN'T
LIFT YOUR ARM FOR 10 MINUTES,
ONCE IT IS BACK TO NORMAL,
NO HARM DONE, PEOPLE CARRY
ON AND FORGET ABOUT IT.
CLEARLY THAT IS A BIG
MISTAKE BECAUSE IF IT
HAPPENS AGAIN, YOU MAY NOT
BE AS LUCKY THE SECOND TIME.
THIS TIME RATHER THAN IT
BEING 10 MINUTES IT MIGHT BE
THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

The scene changes to Susan and Michael walking outside their home with their dog.

Michael narrates PRIOR TO SUSAN'S STROKE
WE PLAYED TENNIS, WE
ROLLERBLADED, WE BICYCLED,
WE HIKED, WE SKIED.
WE WERE FAIRLY ACTIVE.
AND THAT'S ALL CHANGED NOW.

Back inside the house, Susan says MY PROCESS HAS BEEN
ACCEPTING LIKE, I USED TO BE
ABLE TO DO MANY THINGS AT A
TIME, THE WORD MULTITASKING.
I CAN'T DO IT ANY MORE.
I CAN'T THINK ABOUT THREE
THINGS ON THE WAY TO DOING
SOMETHING.
I CAN DO THIS, DO THIS, DO
THIS, DO THIS.
AND THAT IS THE WAY I LIVE
NOW.

Michael says AND I GUESS THE THING I
WOULD IMPART TO OTHER PEOPLE
IS TO... IT CAN HAPPEN, IT
CAN HAPPEN TO ANYBODY.
AND TO BE REALLY AWARE OF
WHAT THOSE OTHER SIGNS ARE.
AND BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN
SORRY.

Back in the studio, Maureen says IF YOU WOULD
LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
STROKE AND HOW TO RECOGNIZE
THE WARNING SIGNS, CONTACT
THE HEART AND STROKE
FOUNDATION OF CANADA AT
1-888-HSF-INFO.
THAT IS 1-888-473-4636.
THEIR WEB SITE AT WWW.HSF.CA.

A blue slate appears with the contact information.

The opening slate plays again, it reads "Your Health."

Maureen narrates HERE IS THIS
WEEK'S HEALTH QUIZ.

A grey slate appears. It reads "Quiz."

The question reads "Does the Latin word patiens mean one who 1. waits 2. suffers. 3. visits the doctor."

Maureen narrates
THE ANSWER COMING UP LATER
ON YOUR HEALTH.

Back in the studio, Maureen says WE'RE PRETTY
SMUG IN CANADA WHEN IT COMES
TO HEALTH INSURANCE.
OH, WE BUY SOME IF WE ARE
GOING TO BE TRAVELING
OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY AND WE
ARE ATTRACTED TO EMPLOYER
WHO OFFER A GOOD MEDICAL
BENEFITS PACKAGE.
BUT MOST OF THE TIME WE
ASSUME THAT IF WE GET SICK,
OUR EXPENSES ARE COVERED BY
OUR PUBLICLY FUNDED
HEALTH-CARE SYSTEM.
WELL, THINK AGAIN.
RESEARCH SHOWS THAT
CANADIANS PAY 30 PERCENT OF THEIR
HEALTH-CARE COSTS EITHER
DIRECTLY OR THROUGH THEIR
PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE.
AND MANY PREDICT THAT THIS
TREND TOWARD MAKING THE USER
PAY WILL ONLY GET WORSE.
SO SHOULD YOU BE BUYING INTO
OR TOPPING UP YOUR PRIVATE
HEALTH INSURANCE?
WHAT EXACTLY DO THESE PLANS
COVER.
AND WHAT IS THE COST.
CHARLIE BLACK IS A SENIOR
ADVISE WE ARE THE CANADIAN
LIFE AND HEALTH INSURANCE
ASSOCIATION AND WENDY
ARMSTRONG IS A REGISTERED
NURSE AND PAST PRESIDENT OF
THE ALBERTA CHAPTER OF THE
CONSUMER ASSOCIATION OF
CANADA.
AND WELCOME TO BOTH OF YOU.

Charlie and Wendy are seated behind a large wooden table with Maureen. Charlie is in his late sixties with a receding hair line with grey hair and a trimmed, grey beard. He wears a black suit with a white shirt, grey patterned tie, and glasses. Wendy is in her fifties with short, brown hair. She is wearing a brown suit with a white shirt.

They both say THANK YOU.

Maureen says WENDY, FIRST OF
ALL, COULD YOU RATTLE OFF
SOME EXAMPLES OF THINGS THAT
USED TO BE COVERED BY OUR
PROVINCIAL HEALTH PLANS BUT
AREN'T ANY MORE.

A caption reads "Wendy Armstrong. Consumer Advocate."

Wendy says WELL, I THINK WHAT IS
VERY INTERESTING IS IF YOU
HAVEN'T USED THE HEALTH-CARE
SYSTEM IN THE LAST 10, 15
YEARS, YOU PROBABLY HAVEN'T
BEEN AWARE OF SOME VERY
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES BECAUSE
TECHNICALLY MEDICARE ONLY
PROVIDES FIRST DOLLAR
COMPLETE COVERAGE FOR CARE
THAT IS PROVIDED IN HOSPITAL
AND BY PRIVATE PHYSICIANS.
BUT WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING
OVER THE LAST 10 TO 15 YEARS
IS THAT WHERE YOU GO TO HAVE
YOUR DISEASE DIAGNOSED,
TREATED, TO RECOVER FROM AN
EPISODE OF ILLNESS OR INJURY
OR SEEK REHABILITATION HAS
MOVED OUT OF ACUTE CARE
HOSPITALS INTO FREE STANDING
FACILITIES, AND DELIVERED BY
PRIVATE COMMERCIAL AGENCIES
AND ORGANIZATIONS, INSTEAD
OF STAYING IN HOSPITAL FOR
THREE WEEKS FOLLOWING A HIP
REPLACEMENT SURGERY, YOU ARE
OUT IN 3 DAYS AND
RECOVERING AT HOME.

Maureen says AND THE PHYSIOTHERAPY.

Wendy says AND THE PHYSIOTHERAPY
SUDDENLY BECOMES YOUR
RESPONSIBILITY.
SO ALL THOSE SERVICES THAT
WERE ONCE DELIVERED FROM
DIAGNOSIS TO TREATMENT TO
RECOVERY TO REHABILITATION,
NURSING CARE WHICH ONES
OCCURRED WITHIN THE CONFINES
OF THE HOSPITAL AS IT IS
MOVED OUT OF THE HOSPITAL IS
PROVIDED A WONDERFUL
OPPORTUNITY FOR THE PUBLIC
HEALTH PLAN TO BASICALLY DO
AWAY WITH PUBLIC HEALTH-CARE
COVERAGE OR TO LIMIT PUBLIC
HEALTH-CARE COVERAGE SO THAT
NOW IT WILL ONLY BE
PARTIALLY COVERED.
YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY...

Maureen says OKAY, CHARLIE WHAT HAS
THIS TREND TOWARDS EARLY
RELEASE OF HOSPITAL AND
MAKING THE USER PAY, WHAT
HAS THIS MEANT FOR THE
INSURANCE INDUSTRY.

A caption reads "Charlie Black. Canadian Life and Health Association."

Charlie says IT HAS MEANT MORE DEMAND
ON THE PRIVATE HEALTH
INSURANCE SYSTEM.
AND AS YOU INDICATED THIS
NOW CONSTITUTES ROUGHLY 30 PERCENT
OF TOTAL HEALTH COSTS IN
CANADA, EITHER COVERED
THROUGH PRIVATE INSURANCE OR
THROUGH OUT-OF-POCKET
EXPENSES THAT CONSUMERS
INCUR.
PART OF THAT INCREASE –
TO THE 30 PERCENT LEVEL
HAS COME BECAUSE SOME
SERVICES HAVE BEEN SHAVED
BACK.
THE CHANGES HAVE GENERALLY
BEEN SMALL ONES BUT CAN BE
SIGNIFICANT.
SOME OF THOSE SERVICES HAD
BEEN SHAVED BACK FROM THE
PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE
SYSTEMS WHICH AUTOMATICALLY
FALL OVER ON TO THE EITHER
THE CONSUMERS EXPENSES OR
THE PRIVATE SYSTEM.
I FULLY AGREE WITH WENDY AND
MOST COMMON SITUATION IS THE
REDUCTION IN THE TIME THAT
SOMEONE IS IN THE HOSPITAL,
EVEN RECOVERING FROM A VERY
SERIOUS SITUATION SUCH AS A
CARDIAC BYPASS, WE MAY BE
LOOKING AT FOUR, FIVE DAYS.
AND THEN THE PERSON IS
DISCHARGED.
AND IN ONTARIO A GOOD
EXAMPLE, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
ARE PROVIDED WHILE SOMEONE
IS IN THE HOSPITAL TO THE
EXTENT THEY ARE NECESSARY.
BUT MOMENT THEY LEAVE THE
HOSPITAL THE PROVINCIAL PLAN
NO LONGER COVERS THOSE
DRUGS.

Maureen says NOW MANY PEOPLE
HAVE A DRUG PLAN THROUGH
THEIR EMPLOYER.
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF CANADIANS
ARE COVERED BY SOMETHING
LIKE THAT?

Charlie says THE PATTERN HAS BEEN THAT
MOST PRIVATE HEALTH
INSURANCE HAS BEEN RELATED
TO EMPLOYMENT.
IT IS ONE OF THE EMPLOYEE
BENEFITS THAT WE TYPICALLY
HAVE THROUGH OUR WORKPLACE.
IN TERMS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE
EMPLOYED, THE FIGURE IS...
THE PERCENTAGE COVERED IS
QUITE SUBSTANTIAL IN THE 80,
85 PERCENT RANGE.
AND GENERALLY THOSE PLANS
ALSO COVER DEPENDENTS,
SPOUSES, CHILDREN, ET
CETERA.

Maureen says NOW...

Wendy says IF I COULD INTERRUPT,
HOWEVER I THINK SOMETHING
THAT SHOULD BE A GRAVE
CONCERN TO CANADIANS TODAY
IS THE CHANGING LABOUR
FORCE.

Charlie says I AGREE.

A caption reads "Wendy Armstrong. Consumer Advocate."

Wendy says AND THE CHANGING PATTERN
OF WORK SO THAT REALLY
STATISTICS ARE SUGGESTING
THAT NOW ONLY 50 PERCENT OF THE
CANADIAN POPULATION ARE
WORKING IN SORT OF
TRADITIONAL JOBS WHERE THEY
WOULD EVEN HAVE ACCESS TO AN
EMPLOYER BENEFIT PLAN.
WITH THE TREND TOWARD THE
SERVICE INDUSTRY, OR THE
INCREASED RELIANCE ON
CONTRACTING OUT AS OPPOSED
TO PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT IS
LEAVING MANY PEOPLE VERY
HIGH AND DRY WITHOUT ACCESS
TO AN AFFORDABLE GROUP PLAN
BECAUSE ONCE YOU MOVE FROM
THE GROUP PLAN TO AN
INDIVIDUAL PLAN, IT BECOMES
FAR MORE EXPENSIVE.

A caption reads "Charlie Black. Canadian Life and Health Association."

Charlie says ANOTHER ASPECT OF THAT,
MAUREEN, IS THAT WE ALL GO
THROUGH TRANSITIONS IN OUR
LIVES.
WE ENTER THE WORLD, OF
COURSE AS CHILDREN.
WE MAY BE COVERED WELL UNDER
OUR PARENT’S PLAN BUT AT SOME
POINT WE GRADUATE FROM
SCHOOL, FROM COLLEGE.
WE ENTER THE WORKFORCE, THAT
IS A TRANSITION.
AND IT IS VERY IMPORTANT
THAT EACH OF THESE
TRANSITIONS, WHETHER IT IS
THAT ONE OR GOING INTO
RETIREMENT, OR CHANGING JOBS,
CHANGING THE EMPLOYMENT
RELATIONSHIP, IT IS VERY
IMPORTANT THAT EACH OF THOSE
TRANSITIONS TO LOOK AT WHAT
HAPPENS TO YOUR HEALTH-CARE
COVERAGE.

Maureen says YOU SEE THIS IN
THE STATES WHERE PEOPLE ARE
RELUCTANT TO LEAVE A JOB AND
GIVE UP GREAT BENEFITS.

Wendy says THAT IS ALREADY HAPPENING,
I WOULD SUGGEST, HERE IN
CANADA RIGHT NOW BECAUSE AS
CHARLIE HAS SUGGESTED, ONCE
YOU MOVE OUT OF THE HOME
AFTER THAT 4 OR 5 DAY
BYPASS, YOU ARE LOOKING AT A
CERTAIN PERCENTAGE
CO-PAYMENT FOR EQUIPMENT,
SUPPLY, POSSIBLE NURSING
SERVICES.
SO WHILE A CERTAIN AMOUNT IS
COVERED BY THE PUBLIC PLAN
AS THEY'VE SHIFTED CARRYING
TO THE COMMUNITY, I BELIEVE
THAT HEALTH-CARE REFORMS IN
CANADA HAVE LARGELY TUNED
OUT TO BE THE BIGGEST
BAIT-AND-SWITCH EVER
PERPETRATED ON AN
UNSUSPECTING PUBLIC.
BECAUSE THE COST, WE HEARD
SO MUCH IN THE BEGINNING
WITH HEALTH-CARE REFORM,
THAT FUNDING WAS GOING TO
FOLLOW THE PATIENT.
AND IN FACT WHAT HAS
FOLLOWED THE PATIENT HAS
BEEN THE BILLS.

Maureen says FOR HOME CARE ESPECIALLY.

Wendy says FOR HOME CARE.
AND MOST PEOPLE DON'T
REALIZE JUST HOW EXPENSIVE A
PIECE OF TUBING OR A SYRINGE
OR DRESSING TRAY OR MANY OF
THE THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO
RECOVER FROM A CERTAIN TYPE
OF SURGERY OR INJURY MAY BE.

Maureen SOME MIGHT SAY THAT HAS
BEEN THE PROBLEM WITH OUR
HEALTH-CARE SYSTEM ALL ALONG
IS WE DON'T KNOW THE ACTUAL
COSTS OF THINGS.

Wendy says WELL, I COULDN'T AGREE
MORE.
AND I GUESS I WOULD REALLY
LIKE TO ENCOURAGE VIEWERS
ACROSS CANADA TO REALLY MAKE
A DELIBERATE EFFORT THIS
WEEK TO CALL THEIR MINISTRY
OF HEALTH AND GET SOME SENSE
OF WHAT IS COVERED AND WHAT
IS NOT COVERED.
BECAUSE I FIND THAT MOST
PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE
PUBLIC PLAN COVERS OR WHAT
THEIR EMPLOYER BENEFIT PLAN
COVERS.

Maureen says WELL LET'S ASK
CHARLIE.
LET'S TAKE THE EXAMPLE OF
SOMEONE WHO COMES HOME AFTER
HEART BYPASS SURGERY AND
DOES NEED SOME NURSING CARE.
CHARLIE, WHAT WOULD THE
THE AVERAGE EXTENDED HEALTH-CARE
COVERAGE COVER.

Charlie says WELL TYPICALLY THOSE PLANS
WOULD COVER ESSENTIAL
NURSING SERVICES, THEY WOULD
COVER, MOST DEFINITELY WOULD
COVER THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG
AREA, AND AS WENDY SAYS THERE MAY BE A DEDUCTIBLE,
THERE MAY BE CO-INSURANCE.

Maureen says IS THERE
SOMETIMES A WAITING PERIOD
TOO. COULD BE 90 DAYS.

A caption reads "Wendy Armstrong. Consumer Advocate."

Wendy says THE UP FRONT PAYMENTS CAN BE
VERY ONEROUS.
I HAVE SPOKEN WITH FAMILIES
IN ALBERTA WHEN WE DID SOME
RESEARCH LOOKING AT WHAT HAD
BEEN THE IMPACT COST SHIFTS
AND THIS ONE WOMAN WHO HAD A
LITTLE GIRL WITH CANCER IN
THE HOSPITAL DID HAVE HER
HUSBAND HAD A GENEROUS
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLAN BUT
HAD TO PAY THE UP-FRONT
COSTS.
AND SHE SAID SHE SPENT MANY
A NIGHT CRYING HERSELF TO
SLEEP TRYING TO FIGURE OUT
HOW THEY AS A FAMILY WERE
GOING TO COME UP WITH 700 DOLLARS
TOMORROW FOR A FEEDING PUMP
TO BRING THEIR LITTLE GIRL
HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL.
THESE ARE, YOU KNOW...

Maureen says CONSIDERABLE COSTS.

Wendy says CONSIDERABLE COSTS AND UP
FRONT.

Maureen says YOU GET
REIMBURSED EVENTUALLY.

Wendy says YOU MAY.
BUT I THINK THE OTHER THING
THAT IS IMPORTANT AND WE MAY
BE GETTING INTO THIS LATER
IS THAT YOU REALLY CAN'T
MAKE A LOT OF ASSUMPTIONS
ABOUT JUST HOW GENEROUS AN
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT OR PRIVATE
INSURANCE PLAN IS GOING TO
BE.
SO BE VERY CAREFUL AND MAKE
SURE THAT YOU BLOW UP AND
READ THE
THE LIMITATION AND
EXCLUSION PORTION OF ANY
POLICY BEFORE YOU SIGN IT.
BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENS QUITE
OFTEN IS THEY SAY WELL THIS
WILL BE COVERED.
BUT THE AMOUNT THAT WILL BE
COVERED IS ACTUALLY VERY
MINISCULE.

Maureen says ARE THEY WORTH
THE PREMIUMS.

Wendy WELL, SOME THAT I LOOKED
AT PROBABLY AREN'T.
SOME MAY BE.
AGAIN, WHAT MANY PEOPLE
DON'T REALIZE IS THAT
ACTUALLY IT IS FAR MORE
EXPENSIVE TO BUY... RELY ON
PRIVATE INSURANCE THAN IT IS
ON OUR PUBLIC HEALTH PLAN.
WE HEAR SO MUCH ABOUT CAN WE
AFFORD MEDICARE AS A
CONSUMER'S ORGANIZATIONS I
CAN ASSURE YOU THAT WE
REALLY CAN'T AFFORD THE
ALTERNATIVE.

Maureen says ALRIGHT LET ME ASK YOU
CHARLIE: POPULATION AGING,
WE'VE GOT THINGS LIKE
CHRONIC DISEASES OUT THERE,
ALZHEIMER THAT YOU CAN LIVE
FOR YEARS IS VERY
DEBILITATING, YOU NEED A LOT
OF CARE.
SHOULD I BE INVESTING IN
PRIVATE INSURANCE IN CASE
SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPENS
TO ME.

A caption reads "Charlie Black. Canadian Life and Health Association."

Charlie says I THINK ONE HAS TO
CONSIDER THIS.
YOU KNOW, EACH INDIVIDUAL IS
DIFFERENT.
ONE OF THE AREAS THAT IS
RECEIVING A LOT OF
DISCUSSION RIGHT NOW IS
LONG-TERM CARE THAT WOULD
FIT EXACTLY IN THAT
SITUATION.
THIS ISN'T REALLY IN THE
SAME AREA AS REIMBURSEMENT
FOR A DRUG BILL OR THAT SORT
OF THING.

Maureen says NO.

Charlie continues IT’S NURSING HOME CARE THAT
TYPE OF THING.
OUR GOVERNMENTS ARE
STRUGGLING FRANKLY TO WORK
OUT WHAT LEVEL OF CARE THEY
WILL PROVIDE.
AND THERE IS A LOT OF
UNCERTAINTY AS TO WHAT IS
THE INDIVIDUAL'S
RESPONSIBILITY.

Maureen says BUT THERE ARE
POLICIES NOW THAT YOU CAN
BUY INTO.

Charlie says THERE ARE POLICIES
AVAILABLE BUT CERTAINLY FROM
AN INSURANCE VIEWPOINT IT IS
DIFFICULT TO PROMOTE AND
MARKET THESE POLICIES.

Maureen says WHY.

Charlie says BECAUSE THE GENERAL
ATTITUDE IS... WE'RE IN
CANADA.
IF ANYTHING HAPPENS TO ME
THE GOVERNMENT WILL TAKE
CARE OF ME.

Maureen says WENDY.

Wendy says WELL, I GUESS I WOULD
ARGUE THE POINT THAT... A
COUPLE OF THE LONG-TERM CARE
POLICIES THAT I HAVE LOOKED
AT YOU WILL PROBABLY BE
BETTER PUTTING YOUR 400 DOLLARS OR
500 DOLLARS A MONTH IN AN RRSP OR
IN YOUR SAVINGS PLAN BECAUSE
THE LOWER COST INSURANCE
POLICIES FOR MANY OF THE
CONTINUING CARE LONG-TERM
CARE ACTUALLY HAVE QUITE
SIGNIFICANT LIMITATIONS ON
THEM.
SO THERE IS ONLY CERTAIN
CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH YOU
CAN USE THEM.
AND THE MAXIMUM PAYOUT MIGHT
BE FOR A YEAR OR TWO YEARS
AS OPPOSED TO A LIFETIME
LIMIT.
AND CERTAINLY WHEN WE ARE
LIVING WELL INTO OUR 90s NOW
OFTEN THAT CAN BE A REAL
PROBLEM.
SO AGAIN, THERE ARE NO
GUARANTEES ANY MORE WITH
PRIVATE INSURANCE THAN WITH
PUBLIC INSURANCE BUT AT THE
END OF THE DAY WHEN YOU WANT
TO MAKE A CLAIM, THE CLAIM
IS GOING TO BE PAID.

Maureen says I'M AFRAID WE
ARE OUT OF TIME BUT IT WAS
AN INTERESTING DISCUSSION.
THANK YOU BOTH.

Wendy says YOU ARE WELCOME.

Charlie says OUR PLEASURE.

The screen changes to the man standing at a table full of herbs.

Maureen narrates COMING UP.

The man says SOME REFER TO THIS PLANT
AS NATURE'S PROZAC.

Maureen narrates HERB EXPERT JOE
SCHWARTZ OUTLINES ADDITIONAL
USES OF St. JOHN'S WORT.
THAT IS LATER ON "YOUR
HEALTH."

The opening slate appears again.

Back in the studio, Maureen says HERE IS A LOOK AT SOME
RECENT STORIES FROM THE
HEALTH FILES.

The t.v. screen behind Maureen shows an image of coffee in a cup. A caption reads "Arthritis."

Maureen continues
A STUDY IN FINLAND SUGGESTS
THAT PEOPLE WHO DRINK A LOT
OF COFFEE MAY BE MORE AT
RISK OF DEVELOPING
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS.
RESEARCHERS SAID THAT PEOPLE
WHO DRANK MORE THAN THREE
CUPS OF COFFEE A DAY WERE
TWICE AS LIKELY TO DEVELOP
THE DEBILITATING DISEASE AS
THOSE WHO KEPT THEIR COFFEE
INTAKE TO ONE OR TWO CUPS.
IT MAY BE THAT SOME
INGREDIENT IN COFFEE
TRIGGERS PRODUCTION OF
RHEUMATOID FACTOR, AN
ANTI-BODY THAT CAN BE
DETECTED IN THE BLOOD YEARS
BEFORE THE ONSET OF
ARTHRITIS.
RHEUMATOLOGISTS WHO LOOKED
AT THE STUDY ARE STILL
SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE LINK AND
SAY MORE RESEARCH IS NEEDED.

The image on the t.v. changes to a crying baby. A caption reads "Pain Threshold."

Maureen continues YOUR PAIN THRESHOLD MAY
BE SET SHORTLY AFTER BIRTH.
SCIENTISTSES FOUND THAT THE
DEVELOPING NERVOUS SYSTEM OF
NEWBORN RATS WAS REWIRED
WHEN THEY EXPERIENCED PAIN
IN TISSUE INJURY AND MADE
THEM MORE SENSITIVE TO PAIN
LATER ON.
RESEARCHES SAY THAT NEWBORNS
WHO HAVE PAINFUL MEDICAL
TREATMENT MAY GO THROUGH
LIFE WITH A LOWER THAN
AVERAGE PAIN THRESHOLD.

The image on the t.v. changes to photos of a nurse, a group of elderly people sitting at a table, and a caretaker and her charge. A caption reads "2025. Alzheimer."

Maureen continues LIKE DIABETES AND
ARTHRITIS, DOCTORS ARE NOW
WORRIED ABOUT AN EPIDEMIC OF
ALZHEIMER DISEASE WITHIN THE
NEXT 25 YEARS.
NEW RESEARCH SUGGESTS MORE
THAN 22 MILLION PEOPLE
WORLDWIDE WILL BE DIAGNOSED
WITH ALZHEIMER BY THE YEAR
2025.
ALTHOUGH SCIENTISTS ARE
STUDYING CERTAIN THINGS THAT
MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF
ALZHEIMER LIKE HIGH BLOOD
PRESSURE AND HEAD INJURIES,
THE GREATEST RISK IS SIMPLY
AGE.

The health quiz appears back on the screen.

Maureen narrates SO HOW DID YOU DO THIS
WEEK ON OUR QUIZ.
A PATIENT MAY WAIT DURING A
VISIT TO THE DOCTOR.
BUT IT COME FROM THE LATIN
WORD PATIENS MEANING ONE WHO
SUFFERS.

Back in the studio, Maureen says YOU TOLD US YOU WANT TO
KNOW MORE ABOUT HERBAL
REMEDIES.
YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT TO
LOOK FOR ON A LABEL, HOW
MUCH TO TAKE, HOW EFFECTIVE
THEY ARE, AND THE POSSIBLE
SIDE EFFECTS.
WE'VE ENLISTED HERB EXPERT
AND DIRECTOR OF CHEMISTRY AT
McGILL UNIVERSITY JOE
SCHWARTCZ TO FEATURE A
DIFFERENT HERB EVERY WEEK.
HERE HE IS WITH THE LOWDOWN
ON St. JOHN'S WORT.

The scene changes to Joe Schwartcz standing in a lab.

He says THIS INTERESTING PLANT IS
CALLED St. JOHN'S WORT.
WHY?
BECAUSE USUALLY IT FLOWERS
ON JUNE 24th BY IS SUPPOSED
TO BE St. JOHN THE BAPTIST'S
BIRTHDAY.
OBVIOUSLY TODAY IS NOT THAT
DAY.
SOME REFER TO THIS PLANT AS
NATURE'S PROZAC.
SOMEWHAT OF AN OVERSTATEMENT
BUT IN GERMANY THERE ARE
MORE PRESCRIPTIONS WRITTEN
FOR St. JOHN'S WORT THAN
THERE ARE FOR PROZAC.
WHY IS THAT?
BECAUSE THERE IS ACTUALLY
SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THAT
WORKS AGAINST DEPRESSION,
AGAINST ANXIETY,
SLEEPLESSNESS AND PERHAPS
EVEN AGAINST PREMEN CENTRAL
SYNDROME.

A caption reads "Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Ph.D. Chemist."

He continues
A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO A
LARGE META-ANALYSIS, A STUDY
OF STUDIES SHOWED THAT IT IS,
INDEED, EFFECTIVE, ALTHOUGH
THAT STUDY DID NOT EXACTLY
COMPARE IT TO PROZAC.
BUT IT DID WORK AS WELL AS
MANY OTHER ANTI-DEPRESSANTS.
WHAT IS THE ACTIVE
INGREDIENT IN THERE?
WELL, ACCORDING TO MANY
MANUFACTURERS WHO TRY TO
STANDARDIZE THEIR PRODUCT,
IT IS SOMETHING CALLED
HYPAHRICIN, AND WILL YOU SEE.3 PERCENT HYPAHRICIN ON MANY
BOTTLES.

He holds up a white bottle. The word "HYPAHRICIN" is shown in a larger font than the other ingredients.

Dr. Joe continues
ALTHOUGH THE MOST RECENT
RESEARCH INDICATES THAT IT
IS ANOTHER COMPOUND CALLED
HYPERFERIN WHICH IS ACTIVE
AGAINST DEPRESSION.
SO IS THERE ANY DOWNSIDE TO
TAKING THIS?
WELL, FIRST OF ALL,
DEPRESSION IS NOT A MATTER
FOR SELF-DIAGNOSIS.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO
TAKE A LOT OF THIS MAY HAVE
SUN SENSITIVITY BUT THE
BIGGEST CONCERN WE HAVE
THESE DAYS IS A POTENTIAL
CROSS-REACTION BETWEEN
St. JOHN'S WORT PRODUCTS AND
PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION.
THINGS LIKE COUMADIN,
DIGOXIN, AND CYCLOSPORINE.
IT TURNS OUT THAT St. JOHN'S
WORT USES THE FORMATION OF
ENZYMES IN THE BODY THAT
DEGRADE THOSE MEDICATIONS,
TO PERHAPS EVEN SUB
THERAPEUTIC LEVELS.
EVEN THE BIRTH-CONTROL PILL
MAY BE LOWERED IN DOSE TO A
DEGREE WHERE IT MAY NOT BE
EFFECTIVE.
WELL, ISN'T THAT A
DEPRESSING THOUGHT.
MAYBE I CAN HANDLE THOSE
KINDS OF PRODUCTS BETTER BY
TAKING AN ANTI-DEPRESSANT,
LIKE St. JOHN'S WORT.

Back in the studio, Maureen says THANKS, JOE.
JOE WILL BE BACK NEXT WEEK
WITH ANOTHER FEATURED HERB.
AND YOU CAN GET A TRANSCRIPT
OF HIS HERBAL ADVICE ON OUR
WEB SITE.
VISIT
WWW.TVO.ORG slash YOURHEALTH.
WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS
ABOUT OUR PROGRAMME.
OUR E-MAIL ADDRESS IS YOUR
YOURHEALTH at TVO.ORG.
FAX 416-484-4519.
AND YOU CAN WRITE TO us,
YOUR HEALTH P.O. BOX 200
STATION Q TORONTO, M4T,
2T1.

Back in the studio, Maureen says THAT IS ALL THE TIME WE HAVE
FOR THIS WEEK.
THANKS FOR WATCHING.

A slate reads "The advice given in the preceding program is of a general nature only. Viewers should consult their own medical professional for medical advice specific to their circumstances."

The end credits roll.

Host and Producer, Maureen Taylor.

Producer, Cathy Perry.

Director, Michael Smith.

Story Editor, Sarah Michaelis.

Editors, Marisa Gatto, Craig Gellner, Julian Lannaman, Steven B. Pinchuk.

Music, Andy McNeil.

A production of TVO Ontario. Copyright 2000, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Show #1