A Question of Priorities

A story on the Northwestern's website:

Community raising funds for puppy's surgery
Bones broken when dog
was hit by van

An east-side Green Bay puppy's fate lies in the balance as the community rallies to raise money needed for surgery after a van hit her last week.

Pepper, a 9-month-old Lab-Springer mix, bounded out through a door not latched securely on March 14 and ran into the street to visit the neighbor children.
Veterinarians at Animal House Pet Clinic, 3171 Voyager Drive, Bellevue, stabilized Pepper, but she would need to go elsewhere for more high-tech surgery, which will involve plates and pins on both hind legs. The surgery could range from $2,000 to $5,000...
Kelly Winters, a west-side resident and self-professed animal lover, heard about the dog on Monday and sent out a series of e-mails to her "animal-loving network of friends."

"I started getting immediate responses," Winters said, adding that she'd gotten several of her friends to commit to a small financial contribution by the end of the day.

While I cannot fault these kind residents their feelings for the injured puppy, I find myself thinking back to a story I recently posted as I read this:

Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday.

A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

If his mother had been insured.

If his family had not lost its Medicaid.

If Medicaid dentists weren't so hard to find.

As you think about the poor puppy's suffering, also reflect on the community at large. Where are our priorities?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you kindly explain how a socialized medical / dental program could have prevented this?

Have you not heard how long the wait for a dentist can be in a 'universal' care system?


The government pledged in 1999 that within two years everyone would have access to a National Health Service dentist. But in reality it has become harder to register with a dental practice willing to treat NHS patients - such is the demand.


Queue to dentist longer than ever

A student in Tampere may have to wait up to six months for a check-up appointment at a dentist. More than 1,760 students are presently queuing to have an oral health care check-up at YTHS, the Finnish Student Health Service.


There is no public dental insurance for the working poor in Ontario, and only partial coverage for those on social assistance, meaning the government will pay for a few emergencies, such as tooth extraction, but not to prevent them from rotting in the first place.

If only poor Deamonte lived in the UK, Finland, or Canada! er... wait, nevermind.