Interview with Cathy MacNeil- Author of ‘Dying to be Seen: The Race to Save Medicare in Canada’

Today, we here at Brad OH Inc. have the privilege of interviewing Cathy MacNeil, author of the newly released ‘Dying to be Seen: The Race to Save Medicare in Canada’.

‘Dying to be Seen: The Race to Save Medicare in Canada’ is currently a best seller with Friesen Press, and explores the current struggles and future trajectory of the Canadian Healthcare System.

-Click Here to Buy-

Canada’s public health care system is under attack. Defunding, deregulating, defrauding, and deliberate disintegration have manipulated Canadians into despising their once-beloved system as unsustainable, unfixable, and cost-prohibitive. There is a reason for that. Neoliberalism has the rescue medication locked within its assault armamentarium-privatization. The last stage of the takedown has begun and the slow but steady infusion of privatization now flows unobstructed through the veins of Medicare. Dying to be Seen lays out the deleterious effects of such an attack and how it is impacting every stakeholder in Canada’s Medicare system.

For health care policymakers, the book outlines the urgency of the constructive, evidence-based action that is required to save the system. For administrators, it sheds light on why the current solutions have failed. For law makers and governments, the book is an urgent warning to rearrange the status quo to divorce political expediency from sound policy or suffer the dire consequences. For average Canadians, it is a call to arms to save Canada’s universal, egalitarian Medicare program from sliding into the cruel, profit-driven system that bedevils their neighbours to the south.

A clarion call for change, Dying to be Seen traces the origins of Medicare and offers a glimpse of what Canadians can expect to happen if we decide not to intervene now. It also offers real, implementable, solutions to save Canada’s cherished public health care system and emphasizes the urgency of acting on them.


Brad OH Inc.: This is your first book Cathy, that’s so exciting! What was the writing experience like for you, from blank page to publication?

Cathy MacNeil: The writing experience was both exhilarating and intense. Exhilarating, because I felt as the project gathered momentum it had the capacity to really help the Canadian Medicare system and by default, patients across the country. Intense, because the research constantly reminded me of how far this system has fallen.

Brad OH Inc.: You worked for a long while in the healthcare field, were there any particular experiences that made you want to write this book?

Cathy MacNeil: There were many experiences that pushed me to write this book after all I’ve been working within the system for forty-seven years. However, one of the key experiences was my time as a Nurse manager in a busy city ER that had a catchment area of about 120k people. This position placed me directly between upper management who often failed to see the realities on the ground, and my wonderful staff who worked relentlessly to provide the best care they could in a system that clearly wasn’t listening.

Brad OH Inc.: Help us understand some of the current failings you see in our healthcare system, and what the causes might be.

Cathy MacNeil: That’s a loaded question but I’ll try my best to summarize via the books content: Broadly we are submerged in a political economy that is really a type of corporate Neo-feudalism. Everything is based on growth, capitalism, consumption, working harder, faster while trying to consume more, irrespective if we need more or not.

In such a system capital is king and public systems are viewed as useless. This is certainly true where our public health care system is concerned.  As such it has been defunded, deregulated, and defrauded. This has led to a deliberate state of disintegration, which we find ourselves in the last phases of now. So, to rescue the system we must change that culture and we do that by exercising our voices as funders of the system.

That’s a broad perspective but unfortunately, we cannot decouple our public system from the political economy it is currently entangled in. So, changing the narrative towards a more humanist one will help counter the current narrative which is largely one of we can’t afford the public system therefore we need to privatize.

Next, we need to take decisive action on a federal government level, provincial and territorial level, and on a personal level that will rescue the system from the above elements that I have called the four horsemen.

Brad OH Inc.: Can you summarize for us some of the key conclusions or recommended changes you propose in the book?

Cathy MacNeil: Let me tackle this one on three specific levels.

Federal government action required:

  • Change the culture pertaining to health care in the country by joining the Wellbeing Economies group (WEGO).
  • Focus on being a well-being economy.
  • Establish a FARE council (Financial accountability regarding expenditures) that will focus on saving tax dollars, not wasting them with the Auditor General in charge.
  • All savings incurred from reducing wasteful spending should be redirected to health care.
  • Stop the fiscal food-fight with the provinces and immediately renew provincial and territorial relationships.
  • Establish universal support for poverty.
  • Launch a universal Pharmacare strategy.
  • Implement national standards for long-term care and bring the sector under the Canada Health Act.

Provincial government action required:

  • Establish FAREcouncils provincially and territorially with the same guidelines as their federal counterpart reporting to the federal council annually.
  • Tackle wait times by switching to pooled referral systems.
  • Set up community care models with an emphasis on disease prevention.
  • Redirect the subsidization of physician’s liability costs back into the system by ceasing to subsidize these costs.
  • Restructure current home care models with a vigorous home care expansion program utilizing modern technology and reporting systems.
  • Set up centres to track all data related to tracking health care Human Resources such as recruitment and retention issues.

Personal action:

  • Canadians must reject the narrative that there is no money for health care and demand accountability.
  • Citizens must practice healthcare care activism.
  • Canadians must practice health promotion and illness prevention in a broad sociological sense.

Brad OH Inc.: If people can finish this book with one key take away, what would that be?

Cathy MacNeil: That the Canadian health care system can be saved by all of us because we are the funders and as such the shareholders in this system.

Collectively we can rescue Medicare. And we must rescue it because it will be privatized and lost for our children and grandchildren otherwise.

Brad OH Inc.: I know we can’t cover everything here, and we don’t want to, but give us a tease of what else is to be discovered in your book.

Cathy MacNeil: Ok. Well, There’s a brief history of how Canada came to have a public health care system, the myth regarding privatization backed by tons of evidence-based data, why emergency departments are failing, how the ‘four horsemen’ have trampled the public system almost to death, as well as how and why we must act now to rescue Medicare.

Brad OH Inc.: That’s a lot of fantastic content! What’s the best place to buy your book?

Cathy MacNeil: Its been selling out on Amazon since publication but I still suggest people try Amazon first. If that fails indigo.ca will order and ship it to your nearest Chapters store for free.

Also, all e-book options are available on Kindle, Apple Books, Google Play, Nook and Kobo.

Brad OH Inc.: Anything else you’d like to share?  …Any plans for future books?

Cathy MacNeil: Although I am hoping policy-makers and government officials read this book it was written primarily for the funders (taxpayers). It may be one of the few projects totally devoted to the citizens of Canada including every hard-working health care worker that is out there trying their level best to sustain a system that is collapsing.

For the Canadians that have suffered and died because this system has failed them this book is also for them and their families. We have not forgotten you and we will wage this battle to repair this system until someone somewhere in a position of authority finally listens.

As for my next book, I’m looking at deconstructing the private health care system in the US and how it fails people.

#MedicareMatters


We at Brad OH Inc. want to thank Cathy MacNeil for taking the time for this interview, and for writing this essential look into the Canadian Healthcare System.

Remember to click here to get yourself a copy of ‘Dying to be Seen: The Race to Save Medicare in Canada’.

Finally, be sure to check back soon here at Brad OH Inc. for some exciting news on my own upcoming novel, ‘Meaning Less’.

Cheers,

-Brad OH Inc.

Brad OH Inc. Signs Publishing Contract for ‘Meaning Less’

Today, I am thrilled to announce that on Monday, February 21st, I signed a contract to publish my next novel, ‘Meaning Less’ with Sands Press.

I will be very busy in the next few months working on cover design, editing, and promotional considerations, and we expect the novel to release–in Paperback and E-book formats–worldwide in the Spring of 2023.

Stay tuned right here for more information! We look forward to sharing this journey with all of you.

‘Meaning Less’

Languishing in a dystopian corporate hell-scape, Jeffrey Boggs struggles to find meaning in a world that’s left him behind. His apartment is empty, his future is grim, and each day working in the terrible black tower of SALIGIA Inc. plays out like an ill-humoured assault on what scarce dignity remains to him.

As the brief summer begins to fade into a bitter Edmonton winter, Jeff is haunted by memories of better times long behind him. Desperate to find a purpose in life, he turns to his new co-worker, Janice, hoping to use what he’s taken years to learn to help her cope with the degrading daily grind at SALIGIA.

Time and again however, Jeff fails to find what he needs. His colleagues compete for favor, his supervisors conspire to get him fired, and Jeff plots to find a way out on his own terms.

When a gathering snow storm promises to end the brief reprieve of summer, Jeff makes a final play for control in his life. But there’s no secret meaning to life beyond living with meaning, and as he chases it in all the wrong places, each day begins to mean a little less…

Cheers,

-Brad OH Inc.

New Novel: ‘Meaning Less’

Today, I’m thrilled to announce that my most recent novel, ‘Meaning Less’, is complete and with my publisher for review.

This can be a lengthy process, but I’ll keep you updated as things progress, and hopefully will have more news soon.

For now, I’m happy to share a brief synopsis/ teaser. I hope you enjoy it!

Languishing in a dystopian corporate hell-scape, Jeffrey Boggs struggles to find meaning in a world that’s left him behind. His apartment is empty, his future is grim, and each day working in the terrible black tower of SALIGIA Inc. plays out like an ill-humoured assault on what scarce dignity remains to him.  

As the brief summer begins to fade into a bitter Edmonton winter, Jeff is haunted by memories of better times long behind him. Desperate to find a purpose in life, he turns to his new co-worker, Janice, hoping to use what he’s taken years to learn to help her cope with the degrading daily grind at SALIGIA.

Time and again however, Jeff fails to find what he needs. His colleagues compete for favor, his supervisors conspire to get him fired, and Jeff plots to find a way out on his own terms.

When a gathering snow storm promises to end the brief reprieve of summer, Jeff makes a final play for control in his life. But there’s no secret meaning to life beyond living with meaning, and as he chases it in all the wrong places, each day begins to mean a little less…

Your Friends,

-Brad OH Inc.

Celebrating the Completion of ‘Meaning Less’!

Today, I’m happy to share with all my readers that on Wednesday, March 24th, I completed my new novel, ‘Meaning Less’.

The final passages of ‘Meaning Less’ could only be completed at the Tavern on Whyte.

There’s still plenty of work to do. I’ll be giving it a quick round of revisions, then it will be off to my dear colleagues, The Drinklings, for beta reviews.

We’ll keep you updated throughout the process, and will share more about ‘Meaning Less’ as we get closer to release.

Celebrations with Janine back at Brad OH Inc. headquarters.

Until then, raise a glass with us to these exciting new days.

-Brad OH Inc.

An Update from Brad OH Inc.

Already, September is upon us, and just around the edge of the calendar looms October. The season of the witch, the time of the pumpkin draws near.

To anyone inclined to paint their face, or don a non-medical mask and wander the streets in their favourite guise, this is good news, and the world waits with bated breath hoping that Halloween can go down without complications.

In a year like this, that seems like a high hope indeed.

Everyone stuck at home, and not a thing to do. It’s a strange curse for a writer…to have his time at home exponentially increased, but his office cluttered with work-from-home set ups—a sanctuary sullied by hours on other tasks.

It’s been a time of adjustment, and of growth.

But such are the times, and only a fool would deny them.

As for us here at Brad OH Inc., we’ve busied ourselves as best can be, and continue to work on some exciting projects. A new anthology is on it’s way from the Edmonton Writer’s Group, with details coming soon. I’m also continuing work on two major novels, and the season finale of ‘The Gentleman Juggalo’ will be recording soon.

While business may not be ‘as usual’, it continues as we all must.

I hope my readers are well—please feel free to connect in the comments section below and let us know how you’ve been weathering this endless storm.

Kind Regards,

-Brad OH Inc.

Exciting News from Brad OH Inc.

Today, I’m happy to share several exciting bits of news. First off, the long-anticipated debut of ‘The Gentleman Juggalo’ Podcast is finally here! The first episode is now live, and subsequent episodes should be arriving every second week.

In ‘The Gentleman Juggalo’, a long time, down for life Juggalo named Brad (that’s me) guides his amateur friend Bo through the mysterious world of the Insane Clown Posse and their Dark Carnival.
With breakdowns of lyrics, backstories, and personal insights, together they explore the band’s evolution. But is Bo ready to get serious about ICP?

Click here to check it out. 

That’s not all. This month, I’ve been working on several short stories, which are now done and submitted to a range of magazines and competitions—so look forward to more news about them in the near future.

Now, I’m getting back to working on my current novels—it’s always great to write something new, but returning to the novels is also a real treat.

Finally, today I’ll leave you with an awesome new review for ‘Edgar’s Worst Sunday’, shared on Goodreads by our friend from Stranger Tales, ‘Ninja’ Nate Andren!

This slim, beautifully designed novel is anything but a light and fluffy page turning beach read. And thank heaven. Rather, like a fine liquor I’ve savored this deep character study over time, taking Edgar with me both in book form and as poignant allegory.
An apt comparison to Scrooge’s ghostly dream has been made, though Edgar’s journey begins far after any chance to change the shadows shown him. No, this devilishly clever tale by Edmonton’s own Brad OH leads the reader on a booze-fueled cigarette countdown to the inevitable empty pack. Good intentions may lead nowhere nice, but lack of awareness deeper than the surface illusion of self is a truly hellish hall of mirrors. It is precisely the author’s deeper awareness that underpins this deceptively hedonistic decent into the void.
Smoke ’em if ya got ’em, but know that time is a cruel mistress. Pick up a copy today, and the next time you indulge please remember to pour one out for our dead homie, Edgar.
[Other highly entertaining and highly recommended creative endeavors featuring Brad OH include podcasts Tell Me A Story, and The Gentleman Juggalo]

-Brad OH Inc.

Edgar’s Worst Sunday Review

Today, we have a great new review of Edgar’s Worst Sunday to share. This comes from our friend Ellen Michelle, who you can visit right here.

-Click Here to Buy-

-Brad OH Inc.

Ellen Michelle’s Review of Edgar’s Worst Sunday:

This book offers an interesting take on the afterlife and what it would really be like if Heaven was simply our greatest fantasy.
I struggled with the rating on this book (why can’t I do half-stars?!) but ultimately decided that although some solid editing would have taken this book to the next level, the author was trying something unique and I have to give credit for a well done effort.
The main character, Edgar Vincent (don’t call him Vincent!), is inherently unlikeable, which makes us wonder how he was accepted into Heaven in the first place. He gives off the vibe of being an unreliable narrator, but really he tells the truth the whole time—the truth just might not be what you want to hear. If you don’t mind reading about a character that isn’t likeable, this is a good choice! Edgar is well developed and has a nice arc that shows that he starts to understand what he did wrong in life, and what he might do if he were given another chance. Does he follow through on this though? Only time can tell.
The side characters—mostly Edgar’s best friends from life—are a bit repetitive and do little to add to the story themselves aside from giving Edgar flashback stories to tell. Each has their own distinct function and characteristics, but ultimately they were all just drinking buddies with Edgar.
It’s really Edgar’s story, and I think the nature of how the side characters are treated add to Edgar’s characterization. You can see that Edgar is selfish and narcissistic, so it makes sense that a story being told from his point of view wouldn’t focus on how wonderful his best friends are. Rather, he tries to show how he is better than them. A good narrative device to use—this could have been made better by some solid editing, but I see what they’re going for and it works well with who Edgar is as a character.
This is definitely not your typical afterlife story, and religion plays only a very small part in it, but it is definitely an intriguing look at what happens when our wildest fantasies are presented to us in what appears to be the afterlife.
In most regards, it does not seem like it could possibly be Edgar’s WORST Sunday, but it is definitely a very long Sunday filled with various mishaps and a lot of drinking—trust me, don’t play a drink-for-drink game with this book, it won’t end well.

‘Edgar’s Worst Sunday’ Selected for Inclusion in the Capital City Press Collection

Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Edgar’s Worst Sunday has been selected for inclusion in the Capital City Press Collection!

-Click Here to Buy-

The Edmonton Public Library is committed to supporting and promoting the work of local writers. The Capital City Press Collection, housed at the new Stanley A. Milner Library, celebrates and showcases books written by authors residing in the Greater Edmonton Area, as well as members of the Alexander First Nations, the Enoch Cree First Nations, and the Paul First Nations.

The collection will be unveiled on February 14th, 2020 at the opening of the new Stanley A. Milner Library. I’ll provide more information as it becomes available.

-Brad OH Inc.

Edgar’s Worst Sunday Celebrating 1 Year of Publication!

With the Halloween season behind us for another year, we here at Brad OH Inc. took the time to sit back, relax, and realize that October—and Halloween in particular—is not only the best holiday of the year, it’s also the 1-year publication anniversary of ‘Edgar’s Worst Sunday’!

It’s been a super exciting year for me, and I want to thank everyone who’s picked up a copy of ‘Edgar’s Worst Sunday’, left reviews, come out to events, or shown support in a million other ways. It truly means the world to me!

-Click Here to Buy-

In life, Edgar Vincent always maintained one great passion—himself. A semi-successful composer, his rock star lifestyle suited him well, and his narcissistic outlook ensured he was a man with few concerns. Callous comments, thoughtless promiscuity, binge drinking, and excess sufficient to shame Caligula were standard Saturday night fare.

 Sundays for Edgar had always been a painful haze of sickness and regret.

So when Edgar finds himself in the cloudy planes of the afterlife on one particularly bleak Sunday morning, he determines that in order to find peace, he must put aside his ever-present hangover and try to figure out how he got to this point…and where he’s meant to be going now. But as Edgar makes his way through this surreal spiritual realm, he realizes that facing his death is hardly as difficult as facing himself.

 Heaven, however, presents Edgar with an unending smorgasbord of hedonistic delights, so he’s in no particular hurry to change his self-serving ways. After all, considering he’s already dead, what more could he possibly stand to lose?

If you haven’t managed to pick up your copy of ‘Edgar’s Worst Sunday’ yet, there are as many places as ever to do so.

Order online at:

Or you can find physical copies in the Edmonton area at:

Finally, if you’ve read the book and haven’t had a chance to leave a review yet, it really is one of the most helpful things you can do to support an author.

You can leave your reviews at:

Thanks again to everyone who’s read, reviewed, or even just visited this blog. It’s people like you that make words worth sharing.

With love,

-Brad OH Inc.

Edgar’s Worst Sunday- Back In Stock!

Today, we’re happy to finally address a problem which only our most astute readers likely noticed. Lately, my novel ‘Edgar’s Worst Sunday’ has been listed as ‘Sold Out’ on the Chapters/ Indigo website, among others.

While it’s true the first printing sold out, we’re happy to assure you all that ‘Edgar’s Worst Sunday’ is once again available at Chapters/ Indigo for online purchase or to order at any kiosk.

-Click Here to Buy-

It’s also available for order through Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

If you prefer to buy in person, ‘Edgar’s Worst Sunday’ is also available at these most excellent bookstores:

So, if you haven’t grabbed your copy of ‘Edgar’s Worst Sunday’ yet, fortune shines on you today!

If you have, or if you’re planning to soon, please remember to leave a review at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and/ or Goodreads if at all possible—there’s no better way to support an author. If you have any questions about that process, please contact me through the comments, or by clicking here for e-mail.

Endless Thanks,

-Brad OH Inc.