Author Topic: B.C. discriminates in prostate screening tests,lawyer claims  (Read 4496 times)

ouroboros

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
B.C. discriminates in prostate screening tests,lawyer claims
« on: December 13, 2006, 10:27:07 AM »
"A lawyer in Victoria goes before B.C.'s human rights tribunal on Monday, arguing the provincial Ministry of Health is discriminating against him on the basis of sex because it won't pay for his prostate cancer screening test.

Laurie Armstrong claims the $30 fee he has to pay for a PSA test is discriminatory since women don't have to pay for a Pap smear or a mammogram.

...........

Although prostate cancer treatment is covered by the health-care system, treatments for side-effects such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction are not, Durksen said."

Full Story

I don't like the "us vs them" undertones in the story but I think he has a point. The test is false positive-prone, only 30% of men with high PSA levels will have cancer, but that's 30% of men that will catch it early. And the test seems to only cost $30.

My bigger interest is the side-effects side of the story. Urinary incontinence should certainty be covered by the health care system but should erectile dysfunction be covered? I think it should. I support the health care system covering birth control for some of the same reasons.   Sex plays an important part for many people and the health system should recognize this. Sex is more than intercourse for sure but if a guy has erectile dysfunction, it certainly limits his options.

I ran into this double standard when I was sitting on my bargaining committee. We have a very good drug plan as my President pointed out. It covers "everything by Viagra"  then kind of laughed at that. I asked why doesn't it cover Viagra, it covers birth control after all. She gave some answer about the employer saying the drug plan shouldn't be about recreation. I said I didn't agree with that but let it drop. I'm a young guy after all and felt odd fighting for Viagra. Next time though, I'm going to push on it, if only because I feel a drug plan should cover everything.

I know the birth control comparison isn't great, because birth control is about much more then just sex for women. So what's a better comparison? Should drug plans cover Viagra or the like?

Everyone is free to reply.

Edited to add: I'm interesting in the testing part of the issue too. Should the PSA test be covered?

Debra

  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11228
    • View Profile
    • April Reign
B.C. discriminates in prostate screening tests,lawyer claims
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2006, 10:35:53 AM »
The test should be covered. It would also be good if a more reliable test could be found.

I would see the viagra issue similarly to breast implant. IF it is as a follow up to a "procedure" cover it. If it is just something you want to explore cover it yourself.

urinary incontinence is something many people have to deal with for various reasons. Not sure where I stand on that.
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” —  Josephine Hart

skdadl

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32874
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pogge.ca
B.C. discriminates in prostate screening tests,lawyer claims
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2006, 11:31:39 AM »
Well, mammograms are not very good tests either, but we cover them because we're hoping to advance, and I think the same attitude should apply to testing for prostate cancer.

Why would there be a question about urinary incontinence? I suppose I'd need to know more about what is proposed as a treatment -- I wasn't aware that there were any treatments. It is a very general condition -- among women who have borne children, health professionals who work long hours without breaks, older people, etc.

About Viagra -- is there much evidence that people are using it for purely "recreational" purposes? It seems to me that that would quickly become unpleasant, and I wonder whether that is not just another moralizing scare story. If Viagra has a serious medical application, then I would fund it.

chcmd

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
    • View Profile
B.C. discriminates in prostate screening tests,lawyer claims
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2006, 11:37:30 AM »
Drug plans can be really strange with regard to what is covered and what isn't.

For instance, the drug plan that covers me will pay for Viagra, but will only pay for birth control if it comes as a pill.

So my Depo is not covered because it is a shot.  Except if it is being perscribed for something other than birth control.  Then it is covered.
 :annoyed
Feel the fear and do it anyway

Toby Fourre

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
B.C. discriminates in prostate screening tests,lawyer claims
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2006, 11:55:23 AM »
I do not understand this.  I have had my PSA tested twice in the last seven years and I paid no out-of-pocket.

vmichel

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 837
    • View Profile
B.C. discriminates in prostate screening tests,lawyer claims
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2006, 02:42:21 PM »
Quote from: chcmd
So my Depo is not covered because it is a shot.  Except if it is being perscribed for something other than birth control.  Then it is covered.
 :annoyed


That infuriates me. I'm also on a plan that only covers birth control if it was prescribed for reasons other than birth control. So of course, those with doctors who don't mind bending the truth just get a fake prescription for acne or uncomfortable periods. Because those are legitimate reasons to spend money on drugs, but regulating my reproductive system and planning a family are not.

On topic: I think Viagra should be covered. Sexual health is important, and isn't just recreation.

 

Return To TAT