Flu-Shots: Smart Healthcare

FTLComm - Tisdale - Friday, November 30, 2001

We all lament the hopelessly long waiting lists for elective surgury and the constant government threat of few hospitals while the nursing shortage sees the new hospital in La Loche sitting empty. We have discussed these and other health care issues steadily since 1998 but here is a story that makes good sense and is seriously cost effective.

Pasquia Health District staff wrapped up their last public flu shot clinic yesterday afternoon in Beeland Co-op. All you needed to do was saunter up give them your name and unless you were over sixty-five or suffer from a serious medical condition, hand over a mere eight dollars and a few minutes later you were given a shot

that would prevent or lessen the severity of the dreaded late winter to late spring influenza plague that sweeps over us every year.

Influenza is an airborne or contact transported communicable disease that mutates each year into a new strain or strains. Influenza is a viral infection and as such few medicines will treat it and your body has to do the job of defeating the infection. But while your body is taking on the influenza it will often develop secondary bacterial infections and a vicious cycle of sour throats, running noses, coughs and often much worse develops.

The flu shot assists your body to develop antibodies to the most likely type of influenza virus you are likely to encounter this year and though you may catch it your body will be far better prepared to handle the infection and will make short work of getting you over it in quick time.

By getting the public to take the shot we actually are dramatically reducing the over all healthcare costs for everyone as people who have had their shot are unlikely to need to see a doctor or require medicines to treat the various complications resulting from a case of the flu. This small amount of money on the flu shot will actual result in the saving of millions of dollars and in the case of elderly people will absolutely prolong life.

Once we begin to orient our health care system toward prevention we will actually see the cost of medical care reduced. Sounds like a great plan.