In 2003, I was transferred to the province of Ontario from New Brunswick because Guelph offered a niche health care option for physicians that was unavailable on the East Coast.
I was also transferred because my care providers thought that I was likely to die.
Recovery upon arrival in Ontario was protracted and difficult, with many deteriorations along the way, but after a six month inpatient stay followed by several years of intensive, OHIP-funded psychotherapy, I was no longer at risk.
I write you now in 2020, after a productive writing and professional career, with a form of knowledge that is intensely felt and yet hard to explain. Inside, I know that I would be dead had I not encountered a few kind practitioners who did their work outside of a purely biomedical, drug-based model.
They did, of course, provide clinical care in the standard way; yet they also recognized that, without dedicated longitudinal, frequent, relational care, that I would die.
I remain grateful to them that they invested in me in the form of regular appointments, for if they had not, then the self that raised three children, that has received a Gold Medal from the Governor General for dissertation work, who attended Rideau Hall for recognition of scholarly achievement in another context, and who has supported dozens of disabled writers in Canada, would never have accomplished those things, would never have helped as many people.
My children would have lost their father, all for the sake of a hundred dear hours.
I continue to burn with a desire to help others, at least in part instilled in me by the generosity of your province.
As a New Brunswicker still living in Ontario these many years later, I implore you to retain your reputation as benevolent health care leader in Canada and preserve funding for the sickest among us.
For I know, personally and professionally, that the hours save lives.
It does you no good, dear Ontario, to restrict care from the sickest among us.
If you need to titrate your care away from those who do not need it in your estimation, I trust you will find a way to do that which would not withhold care from poor souls like myself, for a poor soul I remain, watching other people survive as best they can with the care they yet possess.
And who can tell the difference between the sick and the sickest?
It is hard to do, and I hope you pause, in your wisdom, and reflect on that fact.