is Canadian healthcare truly this bad?

Some quotes:

Single-payer’s cheerleaders cite Canada as proof of the system’s superiority. It’s a foolish fetish: Our northern neighbor’s health-care system is plagued by rationing, long waits, poor-quality care, scarcities of vital medical technologies and unsustainable costs. That’s exactly what’s in store for America if we follow Canada’s lead.

To keep a lid on costs, Canadian officials ration care. As a result, the average Canadian has to wait 4½ months between getting a referral from his primary-care physician to a specialist for elective medical treatment — and actually receiving it.

Canada’s wait times are certainly growing: That average 18-week delay for “elective” referals is 91 percent longer than in 1993.

Every Canadian is technically “guaranteed” access to health care. But long waits and the scarce resources leave many untreated.

Nor is Canadians’ treatment close to “free”: Patients may only have to pay a nominal fee when they get treatment. But the typical Canadian family pays about $11,300 in taxes every year to finance the public-insurance system.

Because of the low quality of care and long waits in their home country, many Canadians come to the United States for medical attention — over 42,000 in 2012.

Many of these are part of Canada’s political elite. Single-payer may be good enough for their constituents, but it’s apparently not good enough for them.

Yes, that’s pretty much true. And free health care is really a lie on many levels. If you don’t have secondary private coverage, you can still go broke paying for medication and what not, which is not covered. Just the minimum to keep you alive is what you get for your $11k in taxes.

When I lived in Canada, finding a primary care physician that was even willing to accept new patients was a challenge. I finally got one to take me because a family member went there and had to ask a favor. I wanted a basic allergy screening done and was referred to the one place in the city that did it. It was going to be a four month wait. I wound up having it done in the US same week I called to make the appointment.

Just two anecdotes, but its one of those things, if you’re going to die without the service, you’ll get it. But if its not a desperate, gotta have it or else…get in line.

And like geo said, you still need insurance or pay out of pocket to cover your medications, dental, vision, etc.

Yes, it is truly that bad.

Another anecdote:

My brother-in-law’s dad went to his primary complaining of chest pain. He was given a nitro patch and told we will try to get you to a cardiologist. But don’t call us, we’ll call you. He was dead 2 months later. Still wearing the nitro patch.

The only positive story I know is my dad who had a severe heart attack and then required a triple bypass. He got the care he needed immediately, but it goes back to what many, many people say. Canadian health care generally treats you quickly if its literally a life or death situation.

It’s only going to get worse, IMO. As the population ages and the federal government takes to balancing its budget mainly by cutting healthcare transfer payments to the provinces.

Each province is different. Ontario is a joke. Prescription drugs, vision, dental, chiropractic and recently annual checkups aren’t covered unless u are poor or elderly. People get those through work sponsored plans or pay out of pocket. We pay a ton in taxes plus a health care premium for a long wait in the emergency room and basic services. The people that contribute to society (tax payers) are getting screwed while the non contributors (poor people and elderly) get a truly full health care system for free.

other provinces have better plans. Why is ontario so bad? Many welfare bums that bleed the system then the politicians cater to them and get re-elected.

this is where the entire US political system is headed.

I think those that pay taxes that keep the govt working should get more voting power vs the freeloaders.

You’re all a bunch of filthy, rotten liars!

So… no more “one man one vote”?

But wait, Republicans hate paying taxes. So this would just give Democrats who love paying txes (like Buffett) all the voting rights. Self-defeating, if you ask me.

Completely wrong, there are wait times for elective treatments like knee and hip replacements but for emergencies and life threatening stuff its usually very prompt. Two years my mother found a lump on her breast, within a week she had a biopsy and was having a mastacomy and chemo treatments within a month. Three months ago I had a cough that turned out to be a lung infection. I went into a walk in clinic and within 45 minutes I was diagnosed and had the antibiotics in my hand, didn’t cost a damn thing either.

And claims of rationing are out of touch too, if thats true they wouldn’t have given my 91 year old diabetic grandmother with osteoarthritis back surgery in Februrary and let her stay in the hospital for three weeks afterwards.

These are outlier events/examples cooked up by people with agenda’s. I’ve never been let down or had to wait an inordinate amount of time for a medical necessity.

ok now I’m confused. we got complete opposite ends of comments now. is it extremely regional? is that the difference?

The bolded isn’t any different than what I was saying… In addition to my dad, my aunt once fell off a ladder at work and broke some bones. Immediately admitted to hospital and taken care of. Grandmother was completely misdiagnosed in Canada and had to be admitted to the ER in the US while there. I never had anything that required urgent care or whatever.

Fact of the matter is that if you need services ASAP, Canada will take care of you. If you don’t need it ASAP, maybe a wait. Also if you ask 10 people, you’ll 10 different stories, both positive and negative. The press love the death panel stories, while Canadians love the my mom and dad got saved for free. I gave examples of both good and bad. Everybody has them, it just depends on what they choose to say.

Its great when you don’t have much money - you rarely have to pay anything. I got a free MRI after a 2 month wait. If you’re really in trouble you will get treatment no problem. No bs claiming with insurance or worrying about money. That’s a big weight off your shoulders and mind when you’re are sick.

People fall through the cracks everywhere - paid or not. Just less often when you’re paying for top tier care. Ontario’s health system has saved my dad from cancer, provided free surgeries for friends and family, and helped me out when I needed it. Is it perfect? No. But it’s a safety net so people dont’ have to worry about money when they’re sick and they won’t die because they’re poor.

Yes its regional. The federal/provincial governments are accountable for financing the healthcare system and setting standards of care while there is a mixture of regional health authorities, other government organisations and for profit businesses that actually carry out the treatment.

For example, a general practioner will likely buy or set up their own practice to treat patients and they are typically the non-emergency gatekeeper to other parts of the healthcare system. I.e. if you have a mole/clinical depression the GP will refer you to the dermatologist/psychiastrist that will ultimately treat you. All of these individuals then bill either the provincial/regional health authorities for the services they provide based on a schedule that is negotiated by what amounts to a collective bargaining agreement between the province and the care providers. Doctors are typically paid a piece rate for the services they provide with oversight to the quality of care they provide and whether they are actually carrying out the services they bill for. Additionally, in different regions doctors are provided with different incentives to effect positive health outcomes, i.e. they are paid more if they get patients to quit smoking or provide services to a rural population. In effective, the people who carry out the delivery of healthcare in most instances are private/for profit operators who are carrying out services on contract to the regional/provencial health authorities, this includes doctors operating in hospitals as well. Also the amount a physician bills the medical service plan is also publically available information and can be downloaded right off the governments website.

Oddly this system seems to be alot more cost effective, less complicated/bureaucratic and subject to fraud than medicare/medicade.

yes. Each resident of their province is provided with a health card to use in that province. Although u can access other provinces’ hospitals without paying provided it’s covered in your province. But there are a lot of differences in what each system provides and even rules about eligibility of coverage. Ontario has a three month waiting list for new residents while Alberta doesn’t, etc.

i wouldn’t say we ration service. It’s just that we aren’t allowed to have a two tier system (although we technically have one but don’t tell that to people!) so when affluent people want/need treatment quickly and have money they go to the states. The system certainly isn’t what it used to be. A lot of cuts going on. At least in Ontario, the system does a great job for emergency services, cancer, etc. other things it does a bad job but that’s due to the free loaders draining the social system.

I loved this quote from the article:

“Canada’s wait times are certainly growing: That average 18-week delay for “elective” referals is 91 percent longer than in 1993.”

That was 21 years ago. Old people got 21 years older. Our population has grown from by 7million since then. Everyone knows our infrastructure hasn’t kept up, what a bs stat.

I would also get complete opposite ends of comments if I asked whether America’s streets are that dangerous or whether the bottom fifth of American society have social mobility opportunities. And I can also paste biased articles to support either side of my argument. There is no right answer to whatever you wanted to know.

I feel your pride. By the way, the Canadians had a few aces during wwII. You can feel good about that, but are you saying the stat is not accurate or that the challenges make the fact that the wait times have doubled an accomplishment that should be commended?

WW1 and WW2.

Anyway, I don’t think our system is perfect, and I don’t think it will work in the states. But it does provide a service that benefits a lot of people. I do forsee a lot of problems with this program in my life time, hence the infrastructure comment.

I feel the stat is unfair, choosing a random year and using a very high number to make it seem ridiculous. It’s sensationalism.