Debunking Canadian health care myths

An excellent article debunking Canadian health care myths. I hate arguing with people about health care who know nothing about the realities of how little they are spending elsewhere for much better outcomes and more coverage.

The only answer is single payer.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Debunking Canadian health care myths

  1. Jeez. That was eye-opening. Especially this:

    The U.S. has the most bureaucratic health care system in the world. More than 31 percent of every dollar spent on health care in the U.S. goes to paperwork, overhead, CEO salaries, profits, etc. The provincial single-payer system in Canada operates with just a 1 percent overhead. Think about it. It is not necessary to spend a huge amount of money to decide who gets care and who doesn’t when everybody is covered.

  2. MomTFH

    That is one of the reasons I wish more physicians and health care practitioners in the United States would embrace the idea of single payer. That 31% does not go to the practitioners. Most doctors’ offices have more people working in billing than working with patients.

  3. Having spent 5 year in Canada on the Canadian health care system I can say without a shadow of a doubt it beats the hell out of the crap we have here. Sometimes it takes a few months to get appointments for procedures that aren’t mandatory, but hell, it’s worth it.

  4. As a Canadian, it was interesting to read this. However, I question this: “There are no waits for urgent or primary care in Canada. There are reasonable waits for most specialists’ care, and much longer waits for elective surgery.” That sort of implies you walk into the ER and are immediately seen by a doctor. If we have to go to ER, we plan a minimum of 3 hours for our mid-size town. We are very lucky to have a family doctor, but have spent time without one in the past 10 years. That meant long waits at walk-in clinics—and sometimes not getting seen. I’ve had to wait 5 months for a pediatrician (twice) and 6 months for a rheumatologist. I spent much of that time in terrible pain, but at least it didn’t cause me to go bankrupt. I had breast reduction surgery, and it was booked and done in 5 months.
    When my son was born, there were only two OBs in our town; I was seeing my family doc, one of few that still did deliveries. However, he was not on-call at birth time, and I got a stranger. There were complications, and then tentative plans to helicopter me to the next nearest hospital with on-call OBs. That didn’t happen thankfully, and the OB situation has improved, although there is still a shortage of about 10 family doctors for an area of about 40 000 people.
    However, I really wouldn’t change much about our system :)

    • MomTFH

      Thanks for posting! As it said in the original article, I think most of these problems can be linked to provider shortage, and all of your care was paid for. In the United States, we have similar shortages in many areas, plus people have to ration their own care based on their ability to pay.

  5. doctorjen

    Many of those same waits happen every day in rural USA. I’m a practicing family doc in a small Midwestern town – we also have just 2 OBs and few family docs attending births. I frequently have to wait 6-9 mos for some high need specialists – particularly rheumatology and neurology. There is 1 pediatric endocrinologist for 100 miles, fortunately they can usually squeeze in new diabetes, but other stuff? They take a number and call you back when they get an opening in the next year. And if you have Medicaid? Yeesh. My office nurse spent an hour today calling ENT doctors trying to get someone to see a 9 month old with stridor. Sorry, we don’t take Medicaid was heard over and over again. I’m lucky to practice in a not-for-profit health system and I can usually get done for my clients most tests and local referrals, but if they need something my system doesn’t have (and there are quite a few specialities we are missing) it’s often a long wait and long drive to see anyone. And people fall through the cracks every day. I just diagnosed a 62 year old woman with widely metastatic breast cancer. She’s never had a mammogram because she’s never had health insurance. I have another younger man (in his 40s) who was just diagnosed with testicular cancer and we are struggling to come up with some kind of treatment schedule so he can keep his job, because no job = no insurance, and there is no other option for single men. He could apply for Medicare disability, but the health coverage doesn’t kick in for 2 years then, and he’s not eligible for Medicaid since he isn’t a woman and doesn’t have minor children. Somehow, we have to keep him working enough to stay employed, or he’ll have to come up with a way to pay for cancer treatment.
    Anyway, just to second the idea that many of the same problems occur in the US, just not to people with the money to pay, or the good fortune to be insured.

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