Helping out

January may not be the favourite time of year for some seniors and those on limited income.

JANUARY MAY not be the favourite time of year for some seniors and those on limited income.

It’s not only the start of a new year; it’s also the start of a new Pharmacare assistance year. Translation: those on medication have to place their own cash on the counter until such time they reach their deductible limit.

So it’s no surprise that a study released last week by the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that fully 17 per cent of B.C. residents don’t follow completely through on obtaining prescriptions or taking medication because of the cost. And that increases overall health care costs because of the inevitable consequences of not following up on prescription orders.

The provincial NDP lumps prescription drug costs in with other rising fees, saying that people simply don’t have enough money. It says, for example, prices paid for generic drugs in B.C. are higher than in other provinces. The government, predictably, says it will study the issue.

In the meantime, senior citizens and others either go without or make other sacrifices.

Which brings us to locals Ron and Mavis Ramsey and their Helping Hands of the Pacific Northwest Society. Neither bureaucrats nor politicians, they and a small band of volunteers quietly collect bottles and sell kindling to raise money to help those who need prescriptions.

Here’s to one couple who is making a difference.