The figures are clear: the new patients of COVID-19 are those who have not been vaccinated, essentially. And these patients, they are treated by our health system, which is financed by our collective taxes.
Posted on July 10, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.
Therefore, why not force the recalcitrant to be vaccinated? Why not require the vaccination passport to have access to public and private services, which would oblige them to be stung?
The statistical analysis published this week by the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, leads us to ask ourselves these kinds of questions. According to this brief analysis, two-thirds of new daily cases of COVID-19 are recorded in those who have not received either of the two doses of the vaccine. Even more striking: among those hospitalized, 4 out of 5 had not received any dose.
Read “95% who contracted the virus were not fully vaccinated”
The minister takes all non-binding means to encourage the refractory – especially 18-39 year olds – to take action. By publishing his statistical tweet on Wednesday, the minister presented vaccination as a weapon against a repulsive re-containment during a possible fourth wave.
And Thursday, he advised the population that those who will have received two doses will have privileges in the event of an outbreak, thanks to their vaccination passport, such as access to bars.
The Minister avoids any coercive measure, for example the obligation to be fully immunized to obtain essential services (food, health, etc.). Or the billing of hospital costs to patients with COVID-19 who have refused to be vaccinated for reasons other than medical.
Such a hospital bill is very steep. On average, a patient hospitalized for COVID-19 costs $ 15,000, a bill that climbs to $ 50,000 when intensive care is required, according to a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). The COVID-19 hospital bill is four times that of an average non-COVID-19 hospital stay.
Antivaccines, often found among anti-confinement groups or among those who deny the very existence of COVID-19, would probably cry wolf. These often right-wing populist groups, however, demand freedom and the end of “mother government”.
However, this “mother government” offers them free care, unlike the United States, where these apostles of total freedom must pay the hospital costs when they are sick or even pay a private insurance premium which is sometimes higher. according to their medical history.
However, invoicing would pose significant ethical issues. Will a patient without means be allowed to die, whether he is a conspirator or not?
And on that account, if the state decides to charge hospital costs for COVID-19, why would it not do so for other patients who knowingly put their health at risk, such as smokers, car drivers? reckless people, people who engage in risky sexual behavior, people who eat poorly, etc. ?
And again, why wouldn’t there be a gradation according to the level of risk? Would an occasional smoker pay less than a regular smoker?
Above all, a coherent public health wants to take into account the reasons which induce some to smoke, to drink or to overeat, for example. Their behaviors can come from their education, their living environment, their environment, particular stresses, etc.
A smoker who learned to empty two packs a day by imitating his poor parents would be doubly penalized if he had to pay for his treatment in addition.
Is it different for COVID-19? A bit though. Because the patient who is affected risks contaminating several others, more than a smoker with second-hand smoke or a motorist who travels at 140 km / h.
Let’s not forget, even those who are vaccinated can catch COVID-19, often with less consequences, but sometimes with just as much virulence, since the double vaccination is effective in 90 to 95% of cases, not 100%.
And what if there was a fourth wave? And that the sick, mainly those not vaccinated, occupied places in the hospital, with the staff, which could not benefit patients with other health problems?
Let us hope that Christian Dubé’s incentives bear fruit. And that the proportion of Quebecers with two doses quickly reach the target to have collective immunity, ie 75% to 80% for those 12 and over.
In the meantime, Quebec can be proud of its collective solidarity. The province is one of the places with the highest vaccination rate in the world (71.8% of the entire population with at least one dose and 82.1% of those aged 12 and over).
In the United States, a large part of the population, the less educated, more right-wing and more rural, refuse to be vaccinated, which stalls the progress towards collective immunity. Thus, 55% of all Americans have received at least one dose, almost 17 percentage points less than in Quebec (71.8%). Glad to be Quebecer!