The Media and the Medical System

64-reporterMedia is defined as ” the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely.” Media Bias is defined as “a real or perceived tendency of journalists and news producers within the mass media to approach both the presentation of particular stories, and the selection of which stories to cover, with an unbalanced perspective. In essence, “media bias” generally refers to accusations of either censorship or propagandism on the part of particular news sources, where such content is framed in the light of a preconceived agenda.”

I’m not sure how much of what I perceive as Media Bias comes from a Corporate News Source agenda, and how much comes from an individual writers bias. But an example of what I think of bias arrived in the news today from CTV Edmonton. It was a story about a man who died after receiving MS Therapy in Costa Rica.

The article summarizes this mans quest for a controversial MS surgery outside of Canada, because Canada  does not fund this treatment. The article concludes with the statement: ” Between 55,000 and 75,000 Canadians have MS, ranking Canada among the most affected in the world.”

What was missing from this article was what percentage of Canadians have MS, and how this ranked with other diseases that Canadians have. Also missing was the discussion that Canada has 35,000,000 million people who all think their medical conditions should be fully funded by Canada’s beleaguered Health Care Industry. That is the legacy of a Health Care System that declares it will “provide access to universal, comprehensive coverage for medically necessary hospital and physician services.” Who defines what is “medically necessary” in a system that cannot fund what 35,000,000 people think is medically necessary?

This definition of “medically necessary” is what the media and public feed on. This week a controversial MS therapy is “necessary”. Last week it was something else. Next week it will be something else again. The question is, does media coverage, and the resultant outrage of the public, result in changes of policy by the governing bodies of the Health Care Industry? I don’t know yet…

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